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THEY FUCK YOU UP
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
Inspired by Philip Larkin’s poem “This be the Verse”, YOUR MUM AND DAD is an exploration of the powerful dynamics of family relationships and the way they shape our lives.
In Czechoslovakia before the upheaval of World War Two, Michael Moskowitz’s mother left home at seventeen without knowing if she would ever see her family again. What followed was a lifetime of trauma and dislocation for both her and her son. Allowed into the inner sanctum of the therapy room, filmmaker Klaartje Quirijns follows Moskowitz’s work with a New York-based therapist named Kirkland Vaughans. After 17 years of documenting one man’s struggle to heal from a generational wound, Quirijns turns the camera on herself to reveal her own family’s devastating trauma.
Vaughans – one the few African-American Freudian therapists in the United States - guides us through the complex workings of the mind, showing how easily we can be “colonised” by the behaviour of our parents. But in explaining these recurring patterns, he can’t help but be drawn into exploring his own painful past as well.
Using a wealth of home movies and archival images – as well as taped therapy sessions - YOUR MUM AND DAD explores recurring behavioural themes and raises individual cases into a universal pattern of experience. These stories enter the minds of the viewers and provide a mirror with which they can see the pain and triumphs of their own lives…