IDFA Review: Jacinta

The bond between a mother and daughter is very special and entirely different to any other familial relationship. This closeness which comes both from nature and nurture is one which is extremely difficult to break. However, when things do go wrong it’s also a connection which can be severed forever. Motherly love is entirely unique but if contaminated can result in irrevocable damage and a skewed idea of normality.

Jacinta is in her mid-twenties. She lives in Maine but has spent much of her teen and adult years in and out of prison. Her mother is also incarcerated, but despite being brought up by her father Rick, the pair are very close. She herself has a young daughter, Catelyn, who lives with her paternal grandparents.  Determined to beat her addiction, Jacinta allows her progress to be filmed by Jessica Earnshaw in her eponymous first feature.

Jacinta is an unflinching documentary which tackles the subjects of generational abuse, addiction and trauma through the eyes of three generations. As Jacinta tries to break this cycle it’s clear that there are no easy fixes. This is the story of the relationships between mothers and daughters and how parenting plays such a key part in the lives of our children. How we’re inherently shaped by these bonds. It’s a devastating piece of supremely courageous filmmaking.

Jacinta screens at IDFA.

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