Love & Stuff

Dir. Judith Helfand | 80 min
Documentary USA 2020

As award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand sorts through a daunting collection of boxes that belonged to her late parents, she looks back on home video chronicles of her family, Jewish rituals and celebrations, and most of all, her mother Florence.

The videos assemble a portrait of a touching mother-daughter bond, from Helfand’s early encounter with cancer and emergency hysterectomy to her mother’s death decades later. “How do you live without your mother?” Helfand asks Florence, not long before becoming a mother herself.

In the present, she embarks on her own journey through motherhood, adopting a child and taking on single parenthood at the age of 50. Meanwhile, she undergoes gastric sleeve surgery and tries to deal with the critical weight loss that her mother had long pushed her to face. Love & Stuff is a generous journey through generations, recoveries. and cathartic triumphs.

-Note adapted from the Hotdocs Festival

Rental includes a moderated conversation with director Judith Helfand which will automatically play after the film.


Judith Helfand is best known for her ability to take the dark worlds of chemical exposure, heedless corporate behavior and environmental injustice and make them personal, highly-charged and entertaining. Three of her films premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, with national broadcasts on PBS (POV), HBO and The Sundance Channel. In addition to THE UPRISING OF ’34 (co-directed with George Stoney), her films include the Sundance award-winning and 2X Emmy nominated film BLUE VINYL (co-directed with Daniel B. Gold and co-produced with Julie Parker Benello) and its Peabody Award-winning nominated prequel A HEALTHY BABY GIRL, as well as EVERYTHING’S COOL, also co-directed with Gold.

Dava Schub joined the Edlavitch DCJCC as its Chief Executive Officer on September 1, 2020. Dava has been working and leading in JCCs over the past 25 years. She joins the EDCJCC from the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan where she was the Chief Program Officer leading and helping to set the vision of the JCC’s programs, including the Nursery School, Camp, Center for Family Life, Special Needs, Arts & Ideas, Film, Jewish Living, and Israel. Under Dava’s leadership, JCC Manhattan purchased and launched Camp Settoga, opened the doors to JCC Harlem, and developed Centers for Social Responsibility and Modern Aging. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Wurzweiler School of Social Work at Yeshiva University. In addition to her professional capacities, Dava has served as the co-chair of the BJ/SPSA homeless shelter in NYC and has volunteered at One Heartland, a camp for children and families living with HIV/AIDS, for more than a decade. Dava is the mom to a pretty awesome 9 year old girl who now (virtually) attends Lafayette Elementary School here in DC.



Film rentals are $11 per household ($9.50 for the film and $1.50 additional platform fee). All programs are accessible through Eventive, JxJ’s virtual cinema platform. For unlimited access to all JxJ Festival events, purchase a JxJ All Access Pass ($90 with no additional fees).


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