[Desire: Julie’s Mother 4]

This is raw footage of a discussion between Cassandra Swaing, Margit Gustafson, and director Julie Gustafson for the documentary Desire.

00:39Copy video clip URL Young videomaker Cassandra Swaing reclines in a chair while she, Julie, and their crew prepare the shot, in which Cassandra will ask Julie Gustafson about her abortions.

02:37Copy video clip URL Cassandra asks Julie why she didn’t start using contraception after her first abortion. Julie says it was an irrational decision, and that she was in denial and possibly self-destructive.

05:20Copy video clip URL Cassandra asks Julie if she would have an abortion today as someone who’s almost 50, who’s accomplished a lot. Julie says that abortion is not a binary issue, as she would need to consider the fetus’s health, but that she also works hard to avoid pregnancy in a way she did not as a teenager. She discusses the complexities of making such decisions.

08:50Copy video clip URL Julie talks about the possibilities for her life if she had birthed and raised two children as a teenager. 

11:31Copy video clip URL Cassandra tells Julie that it would be good for her to “overcome” the past, to think less about her father and to try not to compare men with her father. She suggests looking to other paternal figures, like Bill Cosby. They discuss Julie’s romantic history. 

15:00Copy video clip URL Cassandra talks about her own romantic history and her choice not to married her child’s father. She talks about the circumstances in which she might marry someone and her philosophy of marriage and dating.

20:12Copy video clip URL Julie talks about the ways in which outdated conventions about marriage – which were largely economic – still persist even though women now have more options. She talks about her anger towards men, which Cassandra sympathizes with. 

23:17Copy video clip URL Cassandra talks about her biological father, and how that relationship informed her romantic life. 

26:09Copy video clip URL Cassandra says that she knew her child’s father would not have been a good presence in her baby’s life. 

29:29Copy video clip URL Cassandra tries to respond to Julie’s question about whether she had made the choice to have a baby on her own from the beginning. 



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