The subtle difference between power struggle and sibling bonding are explored in this poignant story of two young sisters sent out to pick blackberries.
PRODUCTION NOTES :
This Character Study, with a duration of 10 minutes, was shot in four days on an all volunteer cast and crew. The exteriors were shot in Monroe, Washington. The Interior was shot at a residence on Whidbey Island. A grant by the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Festival in partnership with Oppenheimer Camera supplied the 16mm film camera and accessories. Ryan Purcell caught the beautiful golden and green hues of rural Washington on Kodak super 16mm. The location in Monroe gives a perfect example of what most of “greater” Seattle looked like in the 1970s, complete with log cabin, old gray barn, grain silo and resplendent mountains in the background. At that age (both of the children and the decade) the physical world appeared so much bigger. To give the sense of the importance of the physical world the colors are very rich and tangible. At times the children are swallowed up in the field of yellow and green. This is a time before the sisters know who they are, or will be in their adult sexual life; a time before television showed much options or diversity in American life. Their parents have an infant son; the father works; and the mother takes care of the home. The sisters’ dominant relationship is with each other. The power dynamics developed in that encapsulated existence is what they will bring to their adult life. I tried to show this by setting up the Monopoly game first and showing how the power Janet held over Shannon in the game is translated into their work. Shannon’s acceptance of her position is not entirely passive. She is learning how to navigate under the dominance of her sister. In the end I hope for it to be a beautiful story about love and power, and a small study on human existence.