Susie Orbach in conversation with filmmakers’ Carol Mavor and Megan Powell

Full: screening and discussion


Ivo prefers not to talk. Ivo prefers not to eat. After the birth of a new baby brother, ten-year-old Ivo, on the edge of impending adolescence, does not want to grow. Carol Mavor and Megan Powell’s black-and-white film is a cine-poem, chock-full of still photography and cinematic scenes: cocoons, sprouting mushrooms, a bowl of over-spilling milk, a field planted with two hospital beds, an empty nest being torn in two, an anxious mother, a quiet father and a tight-lipped boy. With an emphasis on a mother who loves too much, a father who is shut out and a boy’s unstoppable willpower, the viewer is taken through the drama and terror of Ivo’s anorexia.

Carol Mavor’s lyrical narrative fits the film essay genre like a glove. Megan Powell’s stills and close-ups hold the viewer in a tight embrace, evoking an anxious proximity to the mother’s body. The symptomatic consequences of that fullness are felt not only by the child, who refuses to eat, but also by the narrator herself, who is reticent to relinquish the maternal femininity that brings her own mother closer in ‘being like her. FULL maneuvers skillfully through this space– close, still, tight, too full of meaning, and then with a single gesture, at the end of the film, lets go, leaving the viewer with a palpable sense of relief and a quiet place for reflection on a remarkable journey.

Artist Mary Kelly, creator of Post-partum Document

Susie Orbach is a psychotherapist and writer. She’s the author of numerous books, including her first, Fat is a Feminist Issue, which had a new Introduction written this year, and Hunger Strike. Her forthcoming book In Therapy is due for publication in November, when a new series of the same name will be broadcast on Radio 4. She lectures widely in the UK, Europe and North America. She continues to work with many individuals and couples from her practice in London.

Carol Mavor calls herself an artist-historian. Mavor has published five books. The most recent monograph Blue Mythologies: Reflections on a Colour (Reaktion Books, 2013, translated into Turkish in 2016, Chinese 2016), ‘coaxes us into having a less complacent attitude…even when it comes to something as apparently innocuous as a color’ (Los Angeles Review of Books). Her Reading Boyishly was named by Turner-Prize winner Grayson Perry in The Guardian as his 2008 ‘Book of the Year.’ Her newest visual-culture project, Aurelia: Art and Literature Through the Eyes and Mouth of the Fairy Tale, is forthcoming from Reaktion in 2017.

Megan Powell is a photographer and filmmaker who received her MA from the Royal College of Art. For her eye for seeing the unseen, she was honoured with a residency at Winterbourne House and Gardens, where she completed a 2014 project (photography and film) on the individual bee’s relation to the hive entitled Bee. In 2015, Powell received and Arts Council Grant and an Artists Benevolent Fund for a large-scale eighteenth-month project entitled After Bees. Informed by beekeepers, ecologists and sustainability experts, After Bees is an affecting story of bees told through film, photography, writing and collage. The work will be shown in its entirety during 2016-17 at the Manchester Museum.

Duration 12 September 2016 - 12 September 2016
Times 6pm: (optional) screening (39 mins), 7-8.30 pm: discussion
Cost £12/£8 concessions and Friends of the Museum
Venue Freud Museum London
Address 20 Maresfield gardens London NW3 5SX, ,
Contact 020 7435 2002 / /

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