Dec 8, 2005
Directed by Don Bernier
Rated Not Rated, 80 min.
Part of the Best of Slamdance Series
Shot over the course of three years, IN A NUTSHELL documents the goings-on of the Nut Museum and its curator, Elizabeth Yegsa Tashjian (aka, The Nut Lady). Tashjian, a first generation American of aristocratic Armenian immigrants, has led a unique life. At age nine she was already a concert pianist, at 22, an award-winning artist studying at the National Academy of Design in New York. At age 47, she was a devoted Christian Science healer and, at the youthful age of 60, creator and curator of the one-and-only Nut Museum in Old Lyme, CT.
Today, at 92-years-old, Tashjian has found herself immersed in a strange new chapter: Ward of the State. Once a late-night TV talk show favorite on Carson and Letterman, she is now penniless and confined to a nursing home against her will. After a series of unfortunate events with her health and finances, the contents of the Nut Museum have been permanently removed and her beloved 18-room Victorian mansion has been sold to the highest bidder. Declared insane by her state-appointed conservators, the notorious Nut Lady is fighting to preserve her identity and regain the life she has built.
A well-crafted journey into a corner of odd Americana... Bernier clearly 'gets' Tashjian's obsession with the nut as a living entity redolent with humor, texture, variety and even mystery. - Robert Koehler, Variety
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