Mommy Dead and Dearest Director Talks to SXSW Audiences

Offering a first-hand look at the true-crime story about Dee Dee Blanchard and her daughter Gypsy Rose, Mommy Dead and Dearest involves fraud, Munchausen by proxy syndrome — and matricide. Director Erin Lee Carr (Thought Crimes) was on hand at the 2017 South by Southwest Film Festival. Below, five takeaways from her post-screening discussion:

1. Carr on why the story spoke to her

“I’m frantically interested in crime as it intersects with social media. I think it goes to state of consciousness, which I think is incredible.”

2. Meeting Gypsy solidified her vision for the film

“I was moved with how articulate and amazing she was able to sound and look despite what had happened to her. I sought to make a film that was not exploitative, but honest and true.”

3. …But she’s no ordinary girl

“How can we test our legal system on someone who has not dealt with our reality? Gypsy grew up in a place that was only Disney movies and Facebook. She did not know how the world worked.”

4. There's a moment in the film that made Carr's “skin crawl”

"It was not meant for anybody to see, but Andrew Coffman — the editor of this film — and I had a long discussion. That’s a piece of archival that goes to state of mind, and their relationship. So we chose to leave it in.”

5. And a detail they left out

“We wanted to keep this a very tight film, I think you can see that from the edit, but Gypsy and Dee Dee slept in the same bed Gypsy’s whole life.”