That’s what Morgan Dews found in a shed after his grandmother’s death in 2001 with a note in her own hand – “Must Read After My Death.” That’s just what filmmaker Dews did and the result is a new film based solely on the found materials from the 1950s and 1960s and carrying the title of his mother’s note.
Dews’ 75-minute documentary is much more than a tender look back into the Hartford, Conn., family life of his grandmother Allis, her husband Charley and their four children. Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune writes that “the psychosexual angst roiling under the surface calm here makes “Revolutionary Road” look like “Hotel for Dogs.”
Dews' grandparents lived anything but a conventional life. Insurance executive Charley spent four months a year in Australia, prompting the couple to purchase Dictaphones to facilitate communication in the months apart. These tapes grow increasingly darker through the 1960s as their openly bohemian lifestyle, alcoholism and insecurities eventually thrust the entire family into therapy with ultimately disastrous results.
Chicago Sun Times film critic said he was “horrified and fascinated” by Dew’s work and Stephen Farber of Reuters says the documentary offers “an intriguing and unsettling look at the turmoil hidden behind the white picket fences of suburbia.”
The film opens in theaters in New York this weekend and will play in Los Angeles the next weekend. Anyone can watch it online for $2.99. Check out the trailer and learn more about this fascinating film here.