Sparking democracy through documentary since 1966, Kartemquin is a collaborative community that empowers documentary makers who create stories that foster a more engaged and just society.
Our films have received four Academy Award® nominations and won several major prizes, including five Emmys® and two Peabody Awards. Recognized as a leading advocate for independent public media, Kartemquin has helped hundreds of artists via its filmmaker development programs.
Recent productions include 2019 Oscar® nominee Minding the Gap, and 2018 Oscar® nominees Abacus: Small Enough to Jail and Edith + Eddie, and 2018's best reviewed TV series, America to Me. Other recent productions include the Emmy-winning Life Itself, The Homestretch, The Interrupters, and The Trials of Muhammad Ali, the Dupont award-winning series Hard Earned; and Raising Bertie, All the Queen’s Horses, Keep Talking, and ‘63 Boycott.
Kartemquin is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization based in Chicago. www.kartemquin.com
It is America of the 1950s and 1960s, when a woman's most important contribution to society is generally considered to be her ability to raise happy, well-adjusted children. But for the mother whose child is diagnosed with autism, her life's purpose will soon become a twisted nightmare. Looking for help and support, she encounters instead a medical establishment that pins the blame for her child's bizarre behaviors on her supposedly frigid and detached mothering. Along with a heartbreaking label for her child, she receives a devastating label of her own. She is a "refrigerator mother".
Refrigerator Mothers paints an intimate portrait of an entire generation of mothers, already laden with the challenge of raising profoundly disordered children, who lived for years under the dehumanizing shadow of professionally promoted "mother blame."
Once isolated and unheard, these mothers have emerged with strong, resilient voices to share the details of their personal journeys. Through their poignant stories, Refrigerator Mothers puts a human face on what can happen when authority goes unquestioned and humanity is removed from the search for scientific answers.
It is America of the 1950s and 1960s, when a woman's most important contribution to society is generally considered to be her ability to raise happy, well-adjusted children. But for the mother whose child is diagnosed with autism, her life's purpose will soon become a twisted nightmare. Looking f...