Mother’s Red Dress – A Review

Folks, here is an update to an earlier post on the film Mother’s Red Dress that I wrote about for The New Social Worker Magazine. I was able to preview the film in its entirety. Here is the updated film trailer:

John Paul Rice, one of the film’s producers who was profiled in The New Social Worker article,  asked to post the film review on IMDb but I really enjoyed the film and its message, so here you go!

Why is running away from problems so seductive even though it never works to solve them? What does it really take for people to change? The film Mother’s Red Dress invites the viewer to explore these questions, to have an honest, unflinching dialogue with ourselves and reflect on our own experiences and behaviors, and, if we are willing to do the work, shows us a path in which we can chose to triumph over our own adversity to find a place of peace and hope.

I think the film poignantly captures the crazy- making orbit and trajectory of abuse, i.e., that oh-so-personal walk through someone’s head feeling and wondering if these oh-my-God-horrific experiences are real. So often experiences with abuse make us feel crazy, as if we did something wrong to cause this unfathomable shit torrent upon us. It is lived insanity and crazy-making personified, except it’s not because it is real and it’s happening to you and when we’re children, there may not be a damn thing we can do about it. I hope the folks I know who have survived terrible abuse and incest see this film. The film touched upon some places I have traveled in my own life, and revisiting those chapters was not easy.

In the end, however, I think the main character in Mother’s Red Dress is ultimately fortunate, for how often in real life do we act upon the chance to confront that which made us who we are, truly face those chapters of our stories that form our own individual constitutions, our character, however painful they may be? We cannot undo them anymore than we can unspill milk. Every day we make choices about the kind of person we will be in this world, even if some of us due to abusive experiences are more acutely aware of the effect we can have on others. While some may say we suffer the sins of our fathers, every single day we can chose how we respond to them and choose to build our own capacity to heal and grow and thrive.

I’ll post another update when the film is publicly available to view – I hope you get to see it too! You can rent it here:

August 2008

What a summer! It’s been an eventful time, to say the least!

Kate Silfen and I published an article together titled “Evidence-based practice and library instruction: An assessment of student reference lists” in the Behavioral and Social Sciences Librarian.

Here is a link to the official NASW, The New Social Worker magazine, & partnership announcement. offers social workers twice weekly, moderated chats on assorted topics and a moderated bulletin board system for messages. As a staff member, I currently moderate both the Technology & Social Work and the Social Work Research bulletin boards.

I’ve been asked to serve on Mayor Menino’s Young Bostonian Advisory Council for ONEin3 Boston, which serves “to improve the quality-of-life for young people living in the City of Boston.” I’ll be serving on the Young Families subcommittee.

I completed my research assistant work with the Cash & Counseling Project of the Center for the Study of Home & Community Life at Boston College. I helped edit their upcoming Handbook titled Long-Term Care Services and Supports: A Handbook on Self-Direction.

Under their slogan “art is everywhere,” the kind folks at art nouveau magazine have republished my ode to Trident Bookseller’s perfect chocolate cake as an article in their July-August issue (also known as issue 4)! How exciting and cool that my chocolate cake description has earned this artistic honor. Read the article at art nouveau here.

January 2008

Working as a visiting lecturer at Salem State College. I’m teaching Research Methods to BSW students. After a snow day and a couple weeks of teaching, I’m finding it extremely fun to work with BSW students and help them develop their research interests.

Working as a research assistant on the Charlestown Connects project, “a coordinated program aimed at improving public safety and social services” in Charlestown. Watch a video announcement about Charlestown Connects from Mayor Thomas M. Menino here. I am working with a team to evaluate the project. is revamping and will have scheduled chats starting soon. Briefly, “the Social Work Forum (formerly known as AOL’s Social Work Forum) along with the National Association of Social Workers and the New Social Worker Magazine have joined forces to offer this exciting online community for social workers. Stay tuned for more info!

More Fussy Eater posts, Boston Dessert Crawl map, and updates! According to Urban Spoon, a very cool site on Boston restaurants with reviews from critics and food bloggers, my 13 posts over the last year were seen 485 times. Get instant Fussy Eater updates via RSS or via email.