In Pre-Production. This project consists of a 13-minute fiction film that follows a mother and a daughter as they drive from San Antonio, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico, a destination that’s not revealed until later in the film. At first, their relationship seems strained – reminiscent of a typical conservative mother-rebel teenager dynamic. As the story behind their trip slowly unfolds, multiple layers of their relationship begin to peel off revealing not only the complexity of their generation gap but also the impact of their state’s restrictions on reproductive rights. Albuquerque is not a tourist destination for them. Instead, the city has become a safe haven for Texas women seeking abortions: a right that was taken away from them in June, 2022 with Roe v. Wade overturned, and before that, was made restricted in September 2021 with the effect of Texas’ Senate Bill 8.
Sociopolitical context: “On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade — the case that had recognized the federal constitutional right to abortion in 1973. The Supreme Court’s new ruling means that we have lost federal constitutional protection for abortion. This devastating decision turns back the clock on reproductive rights 50 years. It gives politicians the authority to make decisions for you. And it lets them control what your future will look like.” Planned Parenthood
As of today, a year after Roe v. Wade was overturned, women are not allowed to have an abortion nor have access to reproductive rights in Texas. The closest state to Texas where abortion has no restrictions is New Mexico. According to KHOU 11 News, “A New Mexico clinic has seen an increase of 165% in patients since Texas’ Senate Bill 8 took effect last September.” This was in 2021, even before Roe v. Wade was completely overturned.
Most recently, The Hill, in a 9/1/23 article, reported that “Anti-abortion activists are looking to highways as a new battleground in their efforts to prevent people from accessing abortions.”
The Washington Post also reported that “A central Texas town attempted to make it illegal for people to travel on certain roads through their jurisdiction for the purpose of receiving an abortion, a novel strategy that may prove the future for anti-abortion activists.”
Stylistic Approach: Two filmmakers who have inspired me in the development of the stylistic approach are Jane Campion and Greta Gerwig. Campion’s short film Peel: An Exercise of Discipline, is referential in terms of cinematic look, with its distinctive low-key lighting and hyper warmth tonalities. Another aspect of the film that has inspired me is its pacing in both performance and editing. The film finds a good balance between being an almost “slow cinema” approach and keeping the audience intrigued by its characters’ unexpected behaviors. Gerwig’s Lady Bird became a highly referential piece in my character development process. The mother-daughter relationship in the film, which at times mirrors the relationship dynamics of my characters, is raw, realistic, disturbing, and yet funny at times. Similarly to Gerwig’s approach, I would like to bring an honest and real portrayal of their coexistence. In an almost documentary style, I would like for the actors to live the scenes as real as possible. Therefore, I will work diligently to create a space where actors will be able to explore their characters while analyzing the text on the script.