Margie Thorpe is a back sassin’, whiskey sippin’, country singin’ Southern Diva. Her mother Alma is a working class Norma Desmond graced with the regional talent for spinning tall tales out of life’s rich tragedies. Alma’s bizarre views on sexuality, motherhood and mail-order sweepstakes make her a living, breathing shrine to Southern Gothic. A rape by an uncle in a cotton field at age seven is described as the seduction of Adam by Eve. Past lovers are romanticized as bank robbers, murderers and…Elvis Presley. In this intimate and darkly humorous portrait of the Thorpe family, filmmaker Ruth Leitman (Lipstick & Dynamite, Wildwood, N.J.) follows daughter Margie’s struggle with a mentally ill mother and an abusive, alcoholic father. Framed by accusations of incest, Alma is an unflinching examination of family secrets, love and abuse tangled up in love.
“A POTENTLY PERSONAL AND RAW PORTRAIT OF A PART OF AMERICA THAT IS TOO OFTEN REDUCED TO SIMPLE STEREOTYPES. RUTH LEITMAN HAS MADE A FILM THAT IS UTTERLY TRUE TO HER UNIQUE VISION.”
Steve James Director -HOOP DREAMS, STEVIE, AT THE DEATH HOUSE DOOR
COMPELLING ALMA BEARS WITNESS TO A SITUATION FOR WHICH THERE ARE NO EASY ANSWERS.”
Amy Taubin, The Village Voice.
“ENTHRALLING, DARKLY FUNNY, HORIFFYING AND HOPEFUL”
Maitland Mc Donagh, TV GUIDE On-line.
“THE DOCUMENTARY EQUIVALENT OF THE SOUTHERN GOTHIC NOVEL”.
Jonathan Foreman, The New York Post.
“A SEARING, SURPRISINGLY FUNNY, BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED FAMILY MELODRAMA.”.
Felicia Feaster, Creative Loafing.
“ A PIECE OF DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING SO POWERFUL, IT’S HARD TO THINK OF ANY FICTIONAL FILM TO RIVAL IT IN EMOTIONAL IMPACT.”
Malene Arpe, Eye, April 29th 1999 Toronto, Ontario.
“HILARIOUS AND HORRIFYING.”
Steve Murray, Atlanta Journal and Constitution.
“NO BETTER EXAMPLE OF THE EMOTIONAL STRIDES DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING HAS MADE IN THE PAST DECADE IS RUTH LEITMAN’S ALMA.”
Felicia Feaster, Art Papers
“IT’S AN EXPLORATION BY THE AUDIENCE, THE FILMMAKER AND THE SUBJECTS THEMSELVES OF A KIND YOUÃ‚Â’VE NEVER QUITE SEEN IN A DOCUMENTARY BEFORE.”
Jerry Johnson, The Austin Chronicle.
- Q&A with Ruth Leitman & Margie Thorpe at Indiana University
-Photo Gallery- Including production stills, and travelogue from Film festivals worldwide
-CNN Feature-American Voices- Alma premiere