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I Cannot Tell You How I Feel
Directed by Su Friedrich
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Su Friedrich takes up the camera in a new chapter of her quest to film the battleground of family life. Her mother Lore—who played the lead in The Ties That Bind (1984), a film about her experiences growing up in Germany during the Second World War—plays the lead again, this time kicking and protesting against being moved at the age of 94 from her home in Chicago.

Su and her two siblings fill out the supporting roles, cajoling, comforting, and freaking out, but they cannot deny that their mother is no longer able to care for herself. Lore has severe memory loss and is convinced that her doorman has been robbing her. She often asks Su the same question repeatedly and cannot remember what she ate for breakfast. In an effort for Su and her siblings to be closer to her, they move her from her home of 50 years to an “independent living” facility in Long Island, New York.

I Cannot Tell You How I Feel is heartfelt examination of growing old in today’s society, and the responsibility of adult children to their parents.

film poster

"Recommended! Captures the mundane but heart-breaking problems associated with aging, including finding and living in a facility, saying goodbyes to friends and places, dealing with technology, and negotiating tensions between mother and children, siblings, and extended family." —Linda Frederiksen, Educational Media Reviews Online

"By candidly confronting personal struggles, Friedrich’s films invite reflections on broader, often universal concerns. This is again the case with her latest, I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW I FEEL, which offers a moving, tragic, frequently funny, and profoundly empathetic consideration of mortality and filial responsibility." —Giovanni Marchini Camia, Fandor

"There’s been a recent, very interesting micro-trend among female experimental filmmakers. In the past few years, we’ve seen films by Chantal Akerman (NO HOME MOVIE) and Beth B (CALL HER APPLEBROOG) that see each filmmaker dealing with her relationship with her aging mother… a thoughtful, richly felt addition to the genre." —Dana Reinoos, Screen Slate

World Premiere, Viennale Film Festival, Austria
USA Premiere, BAMcinematek
FrauenFilmFestival Dortmund, Germany
Union Docs, Brooklyn
Western Psychological Association
Sarasota Film Festival 2019
IndieMemphis Film Festival 2017
Moviate Underground Film Festival 2017
MUBI Selection of the Month

42 minutes / Color
Closed Captioned
Release: 2018
Copyright: 2016

For individual consumers (home video)

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For colleges, universities, government agencies, hospitals and corporations

This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Aging, Family Relations, Women's Studies

Watch the trailer:

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