The acclaimed cult documentary Gray Gardens (1975) offers a unique but voyeuristic insight into the poor life of the high society dropouts Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (Big Edie) and Edith Bouvier Beale (Little Edie). This mother and daughter hide from the rest of the world in their remote New York estate and in a complex web of illusions, unrealized dreams and cabin fever. Thanks to the directors’ radical cinema vérité approach and the accompanying unveiled honesty, the Bouvier Beales made the national news when the documentary was released, but the print remains ground zero to this day for heated discussions about ethics in the documentary genre, its position and influence of the presence of the director and the manipulative quality of the medium, which may or may not be inherent.
The performance of this classic is co-organized by the FilmAtelier of the Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (Gezelschap voor Psychoanalyse en Psychotherapie), in which a speaker looks through a psychoanalytic lens at a film that touched him / her. This time Shauni De Gussem provides the Dutch-language introduction entitled: “La presence réelle”.