THE MYS­TERY OF MAZO DE LA ROCHE

NOW Magazine - Hot Docs - - Hot Docs Film Fest Guide -

(Maya Gal­lus, Canada). 52 min­utes. Rat­ing: Maya Gal­lus uses re- en­act­ments, archival ma­te­ri­als and in­ter­views to out­line the life of Cana­dian au­thor Mazo de la Roche.

Canada’s most suc­cess­ful writer of the 1930s and 40s, thanks to the Jalna se­ries, was des­per­ate to main­tain her pri­vacy. Her rea­sons aren’t nailed down here, but that’s what makes the movie so com­pelling. De la Roche lived with her cousin Caro­line in a pas­sion­ate friend­ship re­ferred to in those days as a Bos­ton mar­riage. But there was more go­ing on than a pos­si­ble les­bian re­la­tion­ship.

De la Roche adopted two chil­dren when she was in her 40s. No one knows how she man­aged to pull that off, and her daugh­ter, who’s still alive, never found out.

The faux Bach mu­sic is clichéd, and the film is limited by its TV-friendly run time, but it has a very af­fect­ing ten­der­ness. Apr 29, 4: 45 pm, TIFF Bell Light­box 1; Apr 30, 6: 30 pm, Is­abel Bader The­atre; May 6, 4:15 pm, Cum­ber­land 3.

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