And so began Tara's story about growing up in rural Kansas as an only child of a single mom who never quite grew up herself. The story beautifully unraveled and came back together in ways that one would only expect to happen in a scripted movie, and we were all elated to see it actually happening in real life. The process of making the film also seemed to be an impetus for this evolution. Plus, the fact that Tara's mother Evie is such an exuberant and eccentric woman helped too—we get the feeling she might've already had the knowledge that she would one day star in her own film. Watch the second screening of tomorrow at 4:30 pm at the Victoria Theatre as part of IndieFest, and you'll see what we mean.
Tara had always wondered if her mother Evie was mentally ill. Mental illness ran in the family but was never spoken about. They moved at least once every year during Tara's childhood, and Evie rarely held down a steady job because she believed "working is conforming." Tara always kind of felt like the parent instead of the child, and one of the things that Evie told Tara throughout the film was that "the best way to help you was to leave you alone." (Maybe she was ultimately right in this context...) Tara had moved to New York when she was 19, after a manic Evie had threatened to kill her. "When I stopped doing everything for her, she fell apart," Tara said.
When Tara decided to reunite with Evie after five estranged years and make a documentary about it, she said she had to hire "two filmmakers and a therapist." And boy, did they do a good job. The camera shots of the sweeping Kansas landscape were absolutely breathtaking, and the dialogue was equally rich. Tara's mother was full of stories and visions. One of the first things Evie said in the film was that she felt like Nancy Drew when Nancy had lost her earring. She looked everywhere for it, and then at one point she dropped her flashlight. When the flashlight rolled to a certain point in the corner, that's where she found her earring. Evie said that something "just has to find you."
By SFist LeanneManhattan, Kansas