Money raised for this project will be used for post-production, marketing, distribution and educational outreach. This film is fiscally sponsored by Filmmakers Alliance, a 501c3 non-profit organization; all donations are tax deductible. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Lost In Living is a feature length documentary that explores the lives of four women over a seven year period. My original idea was to make a film about the struggles and rewards of both working as an artist and becoming a mother. My daughter was a toddler and I wondered how other artist/mothers were coping with these two identities. I met two women, Kristina and Caren, best friends and both pregnant for the first time and both artists. It was fascinating to be three years ahead of them and listen to them anticipate and wonder how their lives would change. Caren was anticipating a slow down of her painting and Kristina wondered how she' d be able to get three hours of writing in every day. Little did they know that the babies would not only influence their creative output but they would also change the way they felt about each other. I then decided to find two more women who had already been through those early years and had dealt with different obstacles in a different generation. I met Merrill, a writer, with three adult daughters,
who had over 25 books published, was a former fellow of the Wallace Stegner Writing Workshop at Stanford and was contemplating giving it up altogether. Her children had been among her subjects and at times they felt that their privacy had been invaded. She was conflicted between her need to write and her desire to maintain relationships with her daughters. I also met Margie, a divorced mother of seven, with two teenagers still at home. While in her late 20's she stumbled upon a painting class and felt as if a world opened up to her that could save her from the deadening dullness of being a housewife and mother and the strains of an unhappy marriage.
Through intimate verite scenes and in-depth interviews, this film illuminates how the choice of being a mother can affect not only one' s art and approach to creativity but also parenting expectations and failures, issues of friendship, marriages, domestic routines, age, feminist
ideals, and most importantly who we are in the world. These women are involved in creative work – painting, writing and filmmaking – that depends largely on internally driven emotional and psychological impulses. They all view their creativity as an exploration of their deeply held conflicts and passions. For them art competes with other passions in their lives and the richness of their lives enriches their art.
After moving to Los Angeles with my husband and one year old daughter I became lost in living. My first film was languishing and the daily domestic activities of caring for a child, husband and home took up all of my time and energy. I decided to record my world by video-taping ten minutes of my day, every day for a year. All moments that occur in every person's life – folding laundry, sleeping, arguing, eating, rain. Somehow, by sticking to this routine, my creative urge was recharged. I got back to my film and completed it within the next year.
In recording my daily life, choosing camera angles, lighting and subject, I was finding meaning and drama in the ordinariness of it. My world was redefined by seeing it as art.
I began to question what it means for other women to be living in these times. How were other mothers defining and shaping their lives as parents and as artists? I wanted to find women who were involved in creative work that was integral to who they are in the world, who in essence could not live without making art.
In recording the daily lives of my subjects over a seven year period I found my own way. Lost in Living is the story of four extraordinary women who share their personal triumphs and struggles as mothers and as artists and who uniquely define for themselves what it means to be a woman in our modern world.
Director: Mary Trunk
Editor: Caren McCaleb
Producers: Mary Trunk, Paul Sanchez
Camera and Sound: Mary Trunk, Paul Sanchez, David Garden, Nick Higgins, Caren McCaleb, Andy Norman, Adrian Pedraza, Kevin Bauer, Tom Brandau, Gabriel Wimmer
Length: One hour, 50 minutes