"Loose Threads" is the story of Hajar, a free-spirited young Muslim girl who is coping with an unwanted pregnancy from a neglectful husband and secretly tries to get an abortion. We follow both Hajar and her mother Leann as they grow closer together while navigating familial duty versus choosing what’s best for their futures.
I wrote and directed this film, Loose Threads, after my immigrant mother finally began therapy. My mother and I began journeying through therapy together and our relationship evolved. We started having more honest conversations and one conversation particularly struck me. Her therapist asked her to close her eyes and find herself. She found a younger version of herself in the corner of a dark room; sad, lonely, and neglected. I came to realize a lot of the issues we were dealing with were similar and deeply connected to inter-generational trauma. "Loose Threads" is a cinematic exploration of intergenerational trauma through this intimate mother-daughter story. The main character in the film, Hajar, is in an abusive relationship and she is at a crossroads; she either must face her fears and be her authentic self or she must be a victim of circumstance, like her mother.
We don't often see empowering story arcs for middle-aged middle eastern women on the topic of mental health so it was important for me to include that. The main character Hajar and her mother Leann don't see eye to eye when it comes to religion or tradition but they both embark on a journey to find their voice. Hajar's husband, Omar, finds out that Hajar has decided to get an abortion and begins to belittle and gaslight her. Leann comes home and sticks up for her daughter and towards the end of the film, both women have been through something that has changed them permanently. Creating this film helped me process the trauma the women in my family have experienced for many generations. This film is testimony that I am breaking the cycle.
Elif Fâtima Görken is a Turkish visual artist and filmmaker. Her work focuses on gender, migration, and Islamic mysticism aiming to explore visual storytelling from a decolonial framework. She is currently a teaching artist in New York City and obtaining her MFA in Screenwriting.
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