Essays · Movies

This Short Film Explores a Mother and Daughter Who Are Total Strangers

By  · Published on May 21st, 2014

Chris Shimojima

Why Watch? In this short film from Chris Shimojima, a young woman (Jenny Murray) meets with the mother who abandoned her (Ginger Grace) when she was a child. As their conversation shifts between niceties, the young woman’s internal monologue gives a convincing speech about why she shouldn’t care about the complete stranger sipping water from a mason jar across from her.

The shooting here is simple – mostly done in jarring close-ups and meaningfully off-kilter over the shoulder shots – but the real power comes from the editing. A few moments are left to simmer, others flash by, and the rhythm of it all denies us the solid footing that the main character doesn’t get.

Pushing that empathy further, Murray (who was recently highlighted in this short) does a stellar job being the main visual focus and proving that it takes 6 minutes for water to boil. It would be easy to say that she shines most when the fuse hits the dynamite, but it’s actually in the quieter moments when she proves how compelling an internal conflict can be with a biting rage that lives in her nuanced facial tics.

Overall, 6-Minute Mom is a harsh exploration of an intensely difficult situation made complicated by denial. It’s a stellar examples of dramatic storytelling that becomes more powerful when not looked at straightforwardly.

What Will It Cost? About 6 minutes.

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