Gorky and family, 1943

BBC 4 Documentary: Without Gorky, a film by Cosima Spender

Wow. This sounds like a watch and a half. Documentary maker Cosima Spender has tackled a most personal and painful subject: her grandfather, the Abstract Expressionist painter, Arshile Gorky – whose complicated history (often a fabric of lies) and legacy have provided, she says, the ‘tangled, white noise of my life.’ It’s an awful story – everything bad happens –  but Spender as a film maker has never been interested in wallowing in self pity, and the combination of her clear intelligence with such intimate access to Gorky’s widow and daughters (her grandmother, mother and aunt), will, we expect, make this an utterly compelling documentary. It’s on this Monday at 10pm on BBC 4, part of the BBC’s excellent Storyville series. For a taster, watch the trailer, below.

Without Gorky: A Portrait of a Family Myth. A film by Cosima Spender
Monday 12 March 2012, 10pm or watch on BBC iPlayer anytime till Mon 1 April, 11.59pm
— Daisy
8th March 2012