Interviews and reviews


Manhattan, Kansas

D: Tara Wray

While her daughter was young, Evie Wray was a cosmic wanderer: 20 houses in 20 years, no job, a family bed, homeschooling. She calls it "unusual parenting." Daughter Tara, all grown up and moved to New York City, recalls her mother's agitation, her threats of suicide, and "taking care of the person who should have been taking care of me." In her first film, Tara Wray returns to Kansas to confront Evie, who's now living in a "retreat house" owned by a religious cult and searching for the Geodetic Center of North America. Painfully intimate, Manhattan, Kansas plumbs a contentious mother-daughter relationship, showing a family's journey from estrangement to reconciliation and posing lingering questions about the line between mental illness and unconventionality. It's an honest look about growing up and letting go, and while its technique is a bit raw, it's everything a personal documentary can and should be.

Manhattan, Kansas was the runner-up in the Emerging Visions Audience Awards.

2pm, Dobie

Keep up with all our SXSW coverage at For scheduling on the go, here's a SXSW Film Pocket Guide, which includes the handy Film Grid. Sign up for our South-by-specific newsletter at for news, reviews, and previews delivered to your inbox every day of the Fest. And for the latest Tweets, follow @ChronSXSW.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Marrit Ingman
Wonder Stories
Wonder Stories

July 25, 2008

King Corn
The film’s light hand, appealing style, and simple exposition make it an eminently watchable inquiry into the politics of food, public health, and the reasons why corn has become an ingredient in virtually everything we eat.

Nov. 9, 2007

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle