MY MOTHER’S GARDEN (Cynthia Lester, U.S.). 70 minutes. Monday (April 21), 9:15 pm, Al Green; Wednesday (April 23), 1:30 pm, Cumberland. Rating: NNN
Filmmaker Cynthia Lester 's eccentric mother, Eugenia, suffers from hoarding disorder, the fear of letting go of material things, even old newspapers, empty jars, garbage and dead rats.
Eugenia functions in the world, but her house is so packed that doors are blocked and she must come and go through a window.
Exposing people's unsanitary eccentricities may be at once illuminating and exploitive, as in the Maysles cult-classic Grey Gardens (1976).
It's Lester's love for her mother that makes the film an exploration rather than a seedy exposé of mental illness. The often amateurish camera work distracts from the storytelling, but Eugenia, just like the Beales of Grey Gardens, captivates.