MOTHERS ARE LIKE MIRRORS: A FILM BY JACARREA GARRAWAY
Mothers are like Mirrors is an autobiographical reflection of a young woman's relationship with her mother. This 15 minute film was finished in 2018 and went on a selective festival run later that year. It first premiered at the Roxbury International Film Festival which took place at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA. The film screened right before Tchaiko Omawale's 2018 feature film, Solace, which is also about a young Black woman coming to terms with her own mental health. Mothers are like Mirrors would later be shown at festivals like the Newark International Film Festival as well as the Black Femme Supremacy Film Festival in Baltimore, MD. It was very important for me to make sure that the film was seen in places where there would be a mostly Black audience, as this film, like most of my work, is made with the Black community in mind and at the forefront. In addition, I knew I would feel the most comfortable talking about this film in front of people who may share a similar background with me and maybe they would be able to understand subtle nuances in the language and mannerisms used by the characters. This film was written from my direct memory and experiences, but does include many fictional details of past moments and conversations that I've had with my own mother.
Black women and mental health is a very close to heart subject for me. I don’t see many stories exploring this -- so I made one.
Making Mothers are Like Mirrors had many many lows before there were any highs, but it really convinced me that I do want to dedicate a great portion of my life to making films. The idea for this came about when I had realized that something I could not get off of my mind while in college and that was the complicated relationship that I had with my mother. I really wanted to unpack this with her, but she was not willing to talk through it with me at the time, so I had to find another way to release these thoughts. I first formed them into a spoken word piece by the same name and came up with some lines like:
“Sometimes mothers can be like mirrors, if you look at them for too long, you start to see things you don’t like"
"Daughters can be like mirrors too, if you yell loud enough at them, they may break."
"Mothers are like mirrors in the way they make you face reality"
"Daughters are like mirrors in the way they make you look harder at yourself" And so on and so forth.
It then became very evident that I needed to see these words visualized and this happened at a moment in my college career where I was struggling to figure out what my next film would be. And so, after a few action steps later, this project was planned and then eventually came into fruition thanks to a very dedicated and supportive all POC cast and crew. The film stars myself, Veronica Carter as the mother and Serenity Williams as the younger version of the protagonist Jay.
You can watch the full film here.
Follow the director via instagram or twitter: @jah_car_rah