A raw portrayal of maternal regret
“This film deeply captured the feeling of estrangement and alienation being felt by a mother from within and outside when she doesn't fit what is expected from her.”
Dr. Orna Donath
Doctor of Sociology & Author of “Regretting Motherhood”
DRAMA SHORT FILM
WRITER / DIRECTOR / PRODUCER: Amanda Kaye
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Peter Hegedus, David Gim, Tristan Barr & Shih-Yin Judy Yeh
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: Sabrina Sidharta
SOUND DESIGNERS: Peter Kurucz
EDITORS: Shih-Yin Judy Yeh
COMPOSER: Tim Pitchford
OLIVIA KODETTE & WILLOW VINEY
as Marnie as Jac
JORDAN ABBEY-YOUNG VIVIEN WHITTLE KATY CHARLES OTTO GEORGIE PILLING
Marnie, a struggling young mother, believes that her depression and inability to bond with her child will vastly improve if she leaves her boyfriend. But as she tries to be a single mother Marnie is confronted by society's view of what a picture perfect mother should be, making both her and her daughter come to a harsh and unacceptable realisation.
The purpose of making this film developed after finding a woman who had asked a simple question on an internet forum, ‘how do I put my toddler up for adoption?’. As I read her comments I was floored. I have never heard anyone speak like that. Society tells us that if a mother does not want their child they are inherently bad. Reading the comments the woman received made me realise the notion of a mother showing any signs of ambivalence or regret about having a child is not socially acceptable. This then led me to another astonishing discovery that the study of motherhood is only represented within 1-4% of all women studies. It stunned me how much this topic is considered taboo, which made me reflect upon my own ambivalence of having children and understanding these hidden struggles women are facing.
Personally knowing an abundance of women who suffer postpartum depression and also reading stories about women who regret having children, I was compelled to create a short film that resonates with these women’s stories and brings this topic that is rarely depicted in cinema to light.
The film tells the story of Marnie, a young woman who is in strong denial of her ambivalence of being a mother. Feeling overwhelmed and deeply depressed she believes that she must become a socially acceptable version of a mother and naively thinks that her environment is the reason why she can’t achieve this. Marnie brazenly decides to leave with her child in the hope to become a better mother, but throughout her journey she is continuously confronted by the harsh reality that she regrets having a child and can’t escape it.
In order to find a way to convey the complicated relationships and the film's themes the film is told predominantly through the perspective of the child while its shifts between three integral visual styles. The cinematography and sound design are stylistically used as a prevalent tool as we largely make the audience view the world through a photographer’s camera lens who’s trying to capture the ‘perfect’ family photo. We then catapult the audience into life changing moments the child recalls from her past, which includes scenes told through the child’s POV.
To further bring authenticity to this film there are several key people involved with this project who have experienced postpartum depression, adoption or their mother signed them over as a ward of the state when they were a teenager.
This film is built by a collection of women who want to bring light to this important discussion with the hope mothers who either feel ambivalence or regret don’t have to be ashamed or feel outcast anymore.