Synopsis by Mark Deming
A man struggles to deal with the death of his mother -- and a long history of loss in his family -- in the documentary The Accident. Filmmaker Joseph Lovett lost his mother when he was only 13 years old, and afterwards, his father thought it was best to separate the siblings, sending them to stay with different relatives. As he turns 50, Lovett is still struggling to deal with the facts of his mother's death, compounded by the fact that all of his brothers and sisters have also passed on. Beginning in 1974, Lovett began filming family get-togethers and shooting interviews with siblings, asking questions about just what sort of people were his parents and his family. Near the end of the film, Lovett stages a reenactment of his mother's fatal accident (which he witnessed), hoping to come to closure by recreating the traumatic images. The Accident was shown in 1999 at the South by Southwest Film Festival, the L.A. Indie Film Festival, and the New York Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.