A FEATURE FILM INSPIRED BY THE LIFE OF DIANE ARBUS
A Gail Harvey film - Starring Maria Del Mar & Katie Boland
Looking is the Original Sin is a mother/daughter story about love, loss, discovery, alienation and above all the transformational power of art.
Anna, 19, has always lived in the shadow of her talented, beautiful, dynamic and unstable mother, Helene. Helene is a successful photographer who loves Anna deeply lacks an innate maternal gene, made happy only by her daring work.
As Anna grew, Helene became more and more suffocated by playing the role of a dutiful wife and dedicated parent. She lost herself to her art, fell into a deep depression and was driven into darker and darker places for her photographs. She wanders around the fringes of society, engaging in sexual misadventures, putting herself in dangerous situations in pursuit of the raw, suffering beauty of the human experience. Though her depression makes her live recklessly, Helene is blinded and feels she is becoming the artist she is meant to be. Doing forbidden things makes her feel alive. Lost in her own mania, she abandons Anna and runs away from home.
In reversed roles, Anna constantly worries about her mother and tries to convince her to come home, wishing desperately that she could feel happy just being her mother. After many failed attempts, Anna feels angry and betrayed. She decides to take matters into her own hands, searching through her mother’s photos and negatives, solving the mysteries of her disappearance through her images. Her mother’s life is fascinating, and though not invited, she decides that she too wants to experience living on the edge.
Will her mother finally accept her if she is daring, too? Can she convince her mother to come back for good? Is she also meant to be an artist driven to harrowing heights for her work?
As Anna inches closer and closer to finding her mother, perhaps even becoming her mother, she seeks out Helene’s friends. She is introduced to Helene’s strange world, meeting people and going places she has only known through mother’s photos.
With Helene’s old camera around her neck, Anna tries desperately to see what her mother saw. She grows more and more daring, also putting herself in dangerous situations, causing major upheaval in her stable and safe life.
Though she tries with everything to ignore the glaring truth, eventually, she must face reality. She is not her mother’s daughter. It may be too late to save her mother, but through this search, can she save herself?