My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me
Expanding off earlier work involving looping, multi-channel fairy tales, My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me is an adaptation of a folk type most popularized by Grimm’s Juniper Tree, a story where every essential plot point is too violent and grotesque to possibly adapt into a children’s movie, especially the optimistic brand of Disney feminism so popular today. In my retelling, I was fascinated by a story that presents two diametrically opposed versions of the hysterical mother. On the one hand, the self-sacrificing biological mother, who upon giving birth was ‘so happy that she died.’ And on the other, the abusive stepmother, the narcissistic mother who acts in her own interest, retains a sexuality, and displaces her guilt onto her own daughter. Good mommy or bad mommy, both fail to protect their children from traumatic circumstances, and according to fairy tale—and horror movie logic—both must die in order to usher their son or daughter on a path toward successful maturation.