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In the 1970s, when women began to reconsider themselves as active participants in history, perhaps the hardest obstacle to overcome was their mothers. Mothers and daughters cannot avoid conflict and collision as the level of intimacy and trust deepens between them. In Daughter Rite, director Michelle Citron uses a provocative approach to this love-hate relationship between a mother and daughter.
Daugher Rite is structured as both a home movie and a fake documentary. The home movie segment incorporates footage from the director’s childhood which is presented in slow-motion with particular scenes repeated several times. Delicately arranged images collide oddly with the narration, creating a tension that adds to the family conflict that slowly reveals itself. As a result, the film appears to transform a stream of consciousness into imagery rather than presenting a reality. One striking scene occurs when sisters Stephanie and Maggie talk about their extreme love and hate for their mother, a scene which is in fact a re-enactment. Such stylish experimentation exposes the contradictory relationship between two women, the mother and the daughter, while raising questions about the identity of the “documentary” which supposedly represents reality. (Kim Il-ran)
Michelle CitronMichelle Citron
Michelle Citron has made ten films and videos including Parthenogenesis, What You Take for Granted, and Daughter Rite, a ground breaking experimental narrative about mothers and daughters. Her films have been shown at museums and film festivals around the world including; The Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney, The Kennedy Center and Berlin, London, and Edinburgh film festivals. Her films are distributed in seven countries and are in the permanent collections of over 200 universities and film schools including; New York University, the Australian Film and Television School, USC, the Art Institute of Chicago, Brown University, and Yale University.