How America Killed My Mother Premieres at Studio 35
People deal with grief in different ways. For Ed Larson (producer of Netflix’s Bumping Mics and Comedy Central’s Roasts), losing his mother led him down a path others might never consider.
“I was so mad, and I didn’t know how to place my anger, really,” he says. “My mom died in 2016 of diabetes and financial burden. After she passed away, I wanted to honor her memory, or avenge it in a way, the only way I knew how to – through film.
“We live in a society right now where you’re promoted if you get one over on somebody. I think it’s unfair and mean, not to mention life threatening. I thought, I’m going to go yell at all these people. I’m so mad and I’m going to let them know what they’re doing is wrong.”
He called longtime friend, Ohio-based journalist and filmmaker Travis Irvine (American Mayor).
“Travis said, ‘Let’s film it,’” Larson recalls. “And I thought, that’s not a bad idea. I said, ‘Let’s do it. Let’s make this and hope this doesn’t happen to anyone else.’”
Says Irvine, “I could tell it was very important to him, and it was a story I was equipped to help tell. I have experience with hidden camera documentaries, and he’s produced documentaries on tough subjects but dealing with those tough subjects with humor.”
Their film, How America Killed My Mother, will see its Midwest premier this Friday, July 2, at Studio 35 Cinema and Drafthouse (3055 Indianola Ave.).
“We have Morgan Harper joining us,” Irvine says. “She’s been doing great nonprofit work with her group Columbus Stand Up and she used to work against predatory banking when she worked at the consumer protection bureau. She’ll be moderating the Q&A afterward.”
“Being able to see the movie with other people, see what people to react to, doing the Q&A after – that’s just such an extra bonus,” says Irvine. “The movie impacts everyone differently. For people who lost a parent, that part hits them. People who have diabetes, that part hits them. There are people who have gone broke because of predatory bank practices, and that’s what hits them.”
“My story is not unique,” Larson says. “That’s the saddest part. This is happening everyday across the country, and I think a lot of people what happens to them is they’re embarrassed. It’s not embarrassing. It’s just a part of my life. I’m dealing with it, and I’m dealing with it publicly so people can prevent it before it happens to them.”
“You know what I did learn?” Larson asks. “I thought I was going to get in a lot of fights with people. But the truth is, I realized it’s not the individual people. It’s the corporations. I went in with a head of anger and I left usually with a hug. Really, it helped me grieve and understand how broken the system is.”
Join Larson and Irvin this Friday, July 2. Doors open at 10:45 p.m., the film runs 39 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers. For additional details, see the Facebook event. For tickets, visit studio35.com.
Follow Hope on Twitter @maddwolf and listen to her weekly movie review podcast, THE SCREENING ROOM.