[Desire: Julie’s Mother 1]

Videomaker Julie Gustafson and her teenaged subject/collaborator Cassandra Swaing show Julie's mother footage from the documentary Desire, featuring Cassandra (as well as Cassandra's own videos), in which Julie discusses her own life, including her marriage and her abortions.

00:36Copy video clip URL Julie sits on the floor prepping the television and her microphone while her mother and Cassandra wait in the kitchen. 

05:14Copy video clip URL Julie explains to her mother that she wants to show her two scenes from the film that are more about her and about why she made the film. She and Cassandra finish preparing to shoot.

08:38Copy video clip URL They all watch a scene titled “Hiring the Girls,” in which the teenaged girls in Desire talk about themselves and then start to ask Julie questions about herself. 

13:03Copy video clip URL One of the women on the video starts talking about sex and how sex as a teenager means that you have to sneak around. She then talks about marriage, including turning the question on Julie to ask if marriage “worked” for her. To which Julie responds “No comment.”

15:50Copy video clip URL Julie turns off the tape and explains that this was the moment in which she realized that she needed to talk about herself if she was going to continue asking these girls and women such personal questions about their lives. She then starts to prepare her mother for the next scene she will show her, which is “kinda heavy.”

19:11Copy video clip URL Julie plays a scene in which, during a conversation with Kimeka, she reveals that she had two abortions when she was younger. Julie’s mother says that she knew about the first abortion, but not the second one. Kimeka and Julie talk about the things that they could not talk about with their mothers. 

25:30Copy video clip URL The tape ends and Julie’s mother asks her questions about her abortions. Julie’s mother had mistakenly thought that Julie was referring to a later miscarriage. Julie explains that she got pregnant for the first time while she was still living at home. 

27:30Copy video clip URL Julie’s mother says she doesn’t feel good knowing that Julie had two abortions or that she didn’t feel comfortable talking to her about them. Julie’s sister Lisa had an abortion, she says, and she talked to her mother about it. She asks Julie why she didn’t tell her. 

28:55Copy video clip URL Julie tries to articulate why she didn’t feel comfortable telling anyone about her abortions. Her mother says that she’s not surprised that Julie was sexually active but that she wouldn’t tell anybody what she was going through.

 

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