STAUNCH FAMILIES: A Grey Gardens Celebration III

Curated by Rebekah and Sara Maysles


Back Walking Forward

Dir. Kavery Kaul, 2011, 40 min.

Back Walking Forward tells an inspiring story about the aftermath of brain injury. A car accident left Eric with traumatic brain injury. Modern medicine enables most brain injury patients to survive coma, but what happens after that? On the unpredictable road to recovery, an active young man suddenly bound to a wheelchair, unable to start college, Eric struggles to relearn life skills, as he searches for a place in a once-familiar world. His family must redefine happiness, as they too search for a "new normal". They wander the borderland between hope and despair. Will Eric walk again?


Followed by a Q&A with director Kavery Kaul, with the film subjects Eric, Susan and Isaac Michalowski in attendance


Kavery Kaul is an award-winning director and producer of documentaries that have been shown in theaters and on television, in the U.S. and internationally. Born in India and brought up in the U.S., her bicultural background crosses many borders. Often her films are driven by characters who challenge assumptions about who they are. They bridge worlds and break down the barriers separating "them" and "us". Kavery explains, "I was drawn to Eric --- his truths and untruths, the profound and the poignant, and his understanding of what's really important in life. In Back Walking Forward, I wanted to enter his inner world and trace his family's quest for a new normal in the face of such enormous uncertainty."



Grey Gardens

Dir. Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde & Muffie Meyer, 1976, 94 min.

Meet Big and Little Edie Beale—high-society dropouts, mother and daughter, reclusive cousins of Jackie O.—thriving together amid the decay and disorder of their ramshackle East Hampton mansion. An impossibly intimate portrait and an eerie echo of the Kennedy Camelot, Albert and David Maysles’s 1976 Grey Gardens quickly became a cult classic and established Little Edie as a fashion icon and philosopher queen. The film and the Beales themselves have since inspired fashion lines, songs, a broadway musical, several off-broadway shows, and a 2009 HBO film.

Special Bonus Material TBA

STAUNCH FAMILIES: A Grey Gardens Celebration III

Beyond This Place

Dir. Kaleo La Belle, 2011, 93 min.

Kaleo La Belle, director and narrator of Beyond This Place, finally heard from his dad the day he turned 34. Born on a hippie commune in Maui to Cloud Rock La Belle and mother Marj, little Kaleo’s given name was “Ganja.” Cloud Rock, a spectacularly unrepentant deadbeat father who claims he’s been “stoned for 40 years,” suddenly invites his son to pedal with him on a 500-mile journey through the Pacific Northwest. Frustrated with his old man’s total lack of responsibility, and wounded by his abandonments, Kaleo asks Cloud Rock pointed questions about his motivation. But the old guy refuses to be drawn in. The only things he’s interested in are pursuing his own happiness, LSD, and cycling. “My life is not about disappointing a child. It’s about becoming a man. I love my freedom,” he grinningly tells his son. In an effort to comprehend this maddening person, Kaleo goes on a quest, interviewing commune members still living off the grid in Maui, his mentally ill brother Starbuck, and his mom in suburban Detroit. Simultaneously funny and devastating, Beyond This Place is a heartfelt journey of body and soul.

Q&A with director Kaleo La Belle via Skype