The subtle difference between power struggle and sibling bonding are explored in this poignant story of two young sisters sent out to pick blackberries.
The short film FREE PARKING which takes place in the 1970s in a middle class rural home, playfully investigates the power dynamics between siblings when two young sisters, Shannon, 5, and Janet, 11 are sent to the fields to pickberries. Janet sets the stage in the opening scene where the two are playing Monopoly on the living room floor. Janet manipulates the situation to keep Shannon in debt and in the game. When their mother signals the end of the game, Janet brings the rules of the game to bear on their chores by partitioning off the field and bestowing Shannon with the less desired “properties”. Shannon is subjected to rent and taxes when, knowingly or unknowingly, she steps on Janet’s property. Janet’s bowl continues to grow, and Shannon’s is continuously emptied. When the oppressed Shannon attempts to take a stand make it on her own in her designated property, she is intimidated back to the “protection” of her older sister by the strong suggestion of a snake infestation. At the end of the day does it matter who has picked the most berries if they both enjoy blackberry pie?