Look at Us Now…..

Look at Us Now…..

Photo credit: Courtesy of Gayle Kirschenbaum

Hollywood on the Potomac caught up with filmmaker and TV producer Gayle Kirschenbaum who was in town for The Washington Jewish Film Festival and we totally agree with the following comments: “An earthy, intense, tangy look at one mother-daughter relationship. Kind of like a Jewish-American Joy-luck Club. It’s even got Mah Johng. Only with matzoh balls instead of wontons.”C.R. Zwolinski.   “You have a great style and infectious on camera presence and your mother is a force.”– HBO

“I have good news and I have bad news for me,” she told us regarding her earliest remembrances of her childhood. “I have very vivid, very young memories. It was clear to me very, very young that something was wrong.” That something turned out to be her mother, which is the subject of her award winning film Look at Us Now, Mother.  

Look at Us Now, Mother

Gayle took us through various stages of her life and how her relationship with her mother affected each stage.  In the long run, they both came out winners – sort of

“My whole movie is about forgiveness.  I just want to say one thing that’s really important though,” she explained. “The one thing that I was clear about since I was young and that I felt – which was a good thing – I didn’t feel it was my fault. I felt like there was something wrong with her and with them.”  That is not to say, however, that her childhood didn’t leave scars, it did. “I would say my two big issues are abandonment and trust. I thought I was abandoned by my real parents.”


Gayle with her mother

“It took me getting me into doing research, doing genealogy research, digging up death certificates and saying, ‘Hey, Mom, you were seven when your sister died. That sounds very young.’  I think it’s her own wounds from her childhood,” Gayle explained . “She had a lot of tragedy in her childhood that unfolds in the film that she actually blanked out. She repeatedly says, ‘I don’t know, I don’t remember.’ That’s her automatic response.”

“I re-framed how I looked at the world and people, I didn’t have fear. I think Maya Angelou always said to accomplish anything in life, you need courage and to be able to forgive.  So once I re-framed how I looked at humanity and people, the fear factor was gone.”

A conversation with Gayle:

The Trailer: