Thursday, April 25, 2013

All in the Family: Shawney Cohen on Hot Docs Opener “The Manor”

The titular subject referred to in Shawney Cohen’s debut feature has nothing to do with ladies and lords, but with the Cohen family business – a combo strip club/motel in a small Canadian town. And “The Manor” has nothing to do with in the ins and outs of the sex industry, so to speak, but with the inner workings of the Cohen family, which includes Shawney’s 400-pound father (who bought the place when the director was only six) and 85-pound anorexic mother. Ultimately, the doc’s not so much north-of-the-border, reality TV than a nuanced portrait of a loving yet dysfunctional family, more in the vein of “Capturing the Friedmans” and “Crazy Love.”

“Filmmaker” spoke with the director/son/strip club manager prior to the film’s world premiere today as the opening night feature of this year’s Hot Docs.

To read my interview visit Filmmaker magazine.