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Jennifer Dworkin taught photography workshops in the New York City shelter system, and that's how she eventually met the subjects of her documentary, Love and Diane. Diane Hazzard is a single mother of six children and a recovering crack addict living in Brooklyn. As the film opens, one of her daughters, Love Hinson, has just given birth to a baby boy, Donyaeh. Love and Diane follows the family's trials over nearly three years, as Diane struggles valiantly to reunite her family and regain the trust of her children. Love, meanwhile, deals with her own history of abuse and her HIV-positive status as she fights to maintain custody of Donyaeh. Love's fitness as a parent is called into question as she grapples with depression, and with her powerful rage at her mother and the world. Diane's efforts to hold her family together after it has been wracked by tragedy are thwarted by a well meaning but inept child welfare system. Donyaeh, meanwhile, grows up a miraculously bright and happy little boy. Dworkin's film was shown at the 2002 Locarno Film Festival, where it shared the Golden Leopard Video prize. It was also selected for the 2002 New York Film Festival.
Primarily of interest to those in the helping professions, Director Jennifer Dworkin presents this less as a case study than as a study in survival, and proves that strength of character often exists even in situations where abuse has occurred.