Love & Diane tells the epic story of a family over three generations. At its heart lies the highly charged
relationship between a mother and daughter, desperate for love and forgiveness but caught in a devastating
For Love, the world changed forever when she and her siblings were torn from their mother, Diane. Separated
from her family and thrust into a terrifying world of institutions and foster homes, the memory of that moment is
more vivid to her than her present life.
Ten years have passed since that day and Love and her five siblings have been reunited with their mother.
But all have been changed by the years of separation. They are almost strangers to each other and Love is
tormented by the thought that it was her fault. At 8 years old she was the one who revealed to a teacher that
her mother was an drug addict. Now she is 18 and HIV+. And she has just given birth to a son, Donyaeh.
For Love & Diane this baby represents everything good and hopeful for the future. But that hope is mixed
with fear. Donyaeh has been born with the HIV virus and months must pass before his final status is known.
As Diane struggles to make her family whole again and to realize some of her own dreams, Love seems to be
drifting further and further away from her child. Diane, torn by her own guilt over her children's fate when she
was an addict, tries to help and to care for her grandson. But when Diane confides her fears for her daughter
to a therapist, the police suddenly appear at the door. Donyaeh is taken from Love's arms and it seems to the
family as if history has repeated itself.
Now Love must face the same ordeal her mother had faced years before. She is charged with neglect and
must prove to a world of social workers, therapists and prosecutors that she is a fit mother. And Diane must
find the courage to turn away from her guilt and grasp a chance to pursue her long-deferred dreams.
While the film takes us deep into the life of a single family, it also offers a provocative look at the Byzantine
"system" that aims to help but as often frustrates the family's attempts to improve their situation. The film
differs from many documentaries that deal with the problems facing poor communities in that it eschews
"talking heads" and interviews with "experts" and aims instead to immerse the viewer in the experiences and
thoughts of a family trying to survive and retain autonomy in the face of terrible challenges.
This film is a presentation of the Independent
Television Service (ITVS) with funding provided by the Corporation for
Public Broadcasting (CPB). Additional Funding provided by ARTE France.
155 minutes, 35mm & Beta SP, U.S.