- “Great Photo, Lovely Life” is an upcoming HBO documentary directed by Amanda Mustard and Rachel Beth Anderson that explores a photojournalist’s investigation into her own family’s dark secrets.
- The documentary uncovers the sexual abuse crimes committed by Mustard’s grandfather, leading to a journey of unearthing painful memories and confronting familial dysfunction.
- Through interviews, photographs, and home movies, “Great Photo, Lovely Life” aims to disrupt the cycle of intergenerational trauma and provide validation for those suffering in silence from their own traumas.
The newly released trailer for the upcoming HBO documentary Great Photo, Lovely Life finds photojournalist Amanda Mustard as she investigates her own family on a quest to uncover the truth. Directed by Amanda Mustard and Rachel Beth Anderson and produced by Amanda Mustard, Rachel Beth Anderson, and Luke Malone Great Photo, Lovely Life had its World Premiere at the SXSW festival in the Documentary Spotlight section and has since played at various festivals around the country. The documentary is due to land on HBO and Max next month. Check out the trailer below:
Alongside the new trailer, the official synopsis for Great Photo, Lovely Life offers more detail regarding the horrible truths that Mustard will discover in her investigation.
“Photojournalist Amanda Mustard returns home to Pennsylvania to investigate the sexual abuse crimes committed by her grandfather. A visual whirlwind of memories from her family’s archive unravels a world of secrets through interviews, photographs, and home movies. A cinematic journey eight years in the making, “Great Photo, Lovely Life” chronicles a granddaughter’s attempt to disrupt a cycle of intergenerational trauma through the voices of the survivors and her grandfather himself.”
This is Amanda Mustard’s directorial debut alongside co-director and cinematographer Rachel Beth Anderson (First to Fall, Unschooled). They filmed the majority of Great Photo, Lovely Life with just the two of them as it was a conscious decision to keep their team small to allow the act of filming to fall away and for everyone who wanted to participate to take precedence over production or procedure.
Secrets kept close and snapshots of joy plague almost every family. And this is a film about having the courage to take the steps we must take and have the conversations we must have to disrupt the cycle of intergenerational trauma. The film is dedicated to those carrying secrets they shouldn’t have to keep and is a validation for all of the people who are suffering in silence from their own traumas.
Great Photo, Lovely Life Details an Eight-Year Cinematic Journey
An eight-year cinematic journey with revealing interviews, archival photographs, and intimate home movies, Great Photo, Lovely Life documents a personal journey to not only uncover, but also understand the impact her grandfather, a local chiropractor, had on her family after committing decades of serial sexual abuse, and explores the complexities of the silence that followed.
Through her emotionally raw quest to expose the truth, Mustard’s investigation reveals decades of secrecy and cover-ups rooted in shame and self-deception and discovers the dysfunction lurking in her own family, eventually bringing her to uncomfortable and unexpected confrontations and reckonings. Finding the courage to dredge up painful memories, face her own feelings about her grandfather, and to have heartbreaking but healing conversations, Mustard explores the depth and breadth of her grandfather’s actions, laying bare a path for the survivors to shed light on the abuse in order to make sense of the past, find peace in the present, and empower them to move forward.
HBO will debut Great Photo, Lovely Life on December 5th.