In her first documentary, Maya Gallus creates a compelling portrait of Elizabeth Smart’s life, love affairs and passion for language, which inspired By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, her classic work of prose poetry. Rebelling from a private-school upbringing in a prominent Ottawa family, in the mid-1930s Smart escaped to New York and London, adopted a bohemian lifestyle as a writer and began a turbulent intermittent 18-year love affair with married poet George Barker, having four children with him and flouting conventional morality. Jackie Burroughs portrays Smart with vivid intensity, biographical information is beautifully narrated by Michael Ondaatje and anecdotes from her biographer Rosemary Sullivan, as well as her children and writing colleagues, ask whether a woman obsessed with the beauty and power of language can balance the conflicting demands of love, art and motherhood. Lynne Fernie
Co-presented by Women in Film & Television - Toronto (WIFT-T).