Eugenia Lester was not just any hoarder. She is a mother of Cynthia Lester, the film-maker, and her sons, Andy, Brian, and Jack. Twice divorced, Eugenia Lester's background is far more complicated. She was born in Poland after World War II and abandoned by both her parents. She was raised by her aunt who survived Auschwitz. At first, Eugenia shows her home which is piles of filth that she believes are her treasures. Her home is so filled with junk that you have to climb through a window. The last straw came when Eugenia's neighbors in her Los Angeles neighborhood petitioned for an eviction. Her children including Cynthia and her brothers have stepped in to help her troubled mother. At first, Eugenia is resistant to their help seeing herself as being treated as a child. Her family sends Cynthia and Eugenia to Cynthia's apartment in New York for a while her sons clean up the house. Eugenia seems to get better, wears make-up, dresses up, and is more outgoing. When a fight occurs, she returns home to Los Angeles to discover her home has been utterly gutted out by her children. Feeling robbed, violated, and alone, she stumbles into a deep depression. I felt that this first hand account of Eugenia's circumstances helped me feel sympathetic to her.
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