Elizabeth Coffman

Elizabeth Coffman is a documentary filmmaker and film scholar. She's published work in Camera Obscura, Journal of Film & Video and other places. Her film work has been broadcast and screened at festivals in Europe and the U.S. Elizabeth maintains messy homes in Chicago and in Tampa, where her two children live with their father during the week, and stay with her on the weekends. Elizabeth and her filmmaking partner have a media production company -- Long Distance Productions.

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Most Recent Articles

July 8, 2009
On June 28th I found myself picking up my two teenagers in New York City to spend the rest of the summer with me in Chicago. It happened to be the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and a big Gay Pride weekend. My friend, community activist Isabel Grayson, and I decided to take our kids up to Greenwich Village to see the parade.
June 25, 2009
After being in a relationship with my current partner for almost as long as my marriage lasted, I decided that it was time to read about stepparenting. Even though I’m the one with the biological children, and my partner’s the stepparent, the title — The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Stepparenting -- convinced me to buy the book…
June 10, 2009
3 disasters connected to Kansas I’ve watched happen recently:1. What’s the Matter with Kansas?
May 27, 2009
The two-income family is one area in which I received no helpful advice while growing up. I was born in the mid-1960s, raised by a stay-at-home mom and working dad, watched The Brady Bunch on TV and discovered feminism in college. I have always wanted a career, a family, and a house (one, not two...) and never really thought about the time, the money or the hours in the day necessary to make it all work.
May 13, 2009
My daughter and I almost made it through Mother’s Day without screaming at each other. Unfortunately, as I was driving Katie back to her Dad’s house to pick up some homework, she refused to put on any shoes. (Not even her flip flops...!) I lost my temper. “You’ll step on glass!” I yelled. “You’ll make the carpet dirty! You’ll get pin worms!” Needless to say, Katie screamed her dislike of me right back into my face, and we had a lousy Mother’s Day moment.
May 7, 2009
For the last three months a German film student has been living in the basement of my Chicago home. David is a foreign exchange student, but he is also an intern who is assisting my partner and me with completing our latest documentary.
April 22, 2009
While on sabbatical and spending more time with my kids, my thirteen year-old daughter, Katie, has opted to spend evenings with me, while her fifteen year-old brother prefers to stay with his dad (my ex-husband). Their dad and I are working hard to let the children initiate these choices, and not to fall into the trap, as Katie tearfully accused us, of laying on a ‘guilt trip’ for choosing the other parent. We do not allow any more statements such as, “But I’m cooking your favorite chicken pot pie tonight! Can’t you go over to your Mom’s house some other night?”
April 16, 2009
“If evil is inevitable, how are the wicked accountable? Nay, why do we call men wicked at all? Evil is inevitable, but is also remediable." –Horace Mann
April 1, 2009
  The worst-case scenario if you are a long distance parent is that a medical emergency will happen when you aren’t home to comfort and treat your injured child. This scenario happened to me, only it wasn’t my child who was injured. It was me.
March 19, 2009
 Journalism is in crisis. Or, to be more specific, the funding for journalism is in crisis.What does this have to do with being a long distance mom? Not much, except this crisis is part of what I think about when I am away from my kids. Plus, my son Nick wants to be a writer, so I worry about careers with writers in them.

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