Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Film and Media Studies
Inheritance is a feature documentary that investigates the concept of spiritual inheritance, that which is passed from parent to child. More precisely, it examines how the experiences and struggles of an individual may be transferred and reprocessed by their children. Life experience is studied not as personal, but rather a continuous process that transcends the parent and projects onto the children. The film is a hybrid composed of experimental sequences and false starts, which all bring attention to the nuances of a not-so-straightforward story. The film begins as an essay focusing on an investigation into my parents’ divorce with the intention of finding information out about them that will help me convince them to finally separate. Early on in the film, it is revealed that I am pregnant and this investigation quickly turns inward towards my fears of re-living my parents’ perceived failures and passing these on to my children. The film uses intimate conversation, a feminist oral history approach, long verité sequences, and family archival material to facilitate an exchange between mother and daughter and share how they grapple with a struggle for self-expression and freedom from patriarchal forces. Along the way, the film uses Jungian concepts of individuation to explore fears, dreams, and gender paradigms as they relate to both mothers and fathers. It examines the shadows these potentially cast on their children and the journeys they must undergo to confront them.
Machalek, Katherin, "Inheritance" (2022). CUNY Academic Works.