There is a moment in everyone’s life when they cease to be a child. It is without regard to age or intelligence. It can happen all at once or can be a subtle ushering in to adulthood. At this moment the events witnessed by the person come in to a different context and even past memories can have a new meaning. In her first short film Francesca Mirabella explores this. She uses the narrative Mistakes Were Made to paints a scene that confirms children are not immune to the complexities of the adult world.
First watch, then read:
In a small way child psychology has become more of a familiar topic. The understanding that it is not good for a child to see their parents constantly arguing is not a good thing, we know that sexual abuse can have traumatic and lasting effects on a person’s mental health. We know these things as concepts but at what point are the impacts of these experiences noticeable or lasting? Francesca explains “When you are young you don’t fully understand the adult world. I am interested in the moments that contribute to our personalities, when we experience anger and pain.”
It begs the question, ‘How many arguments is too many for a child to witness?’ ‘At what point does an affection moment between a child and adult become sexual if the child does not perceive it as such?’ These are questions with foggy answers and this film sets the mood for that discussion. It is not just the major events in your childhood that shape you , Francesca notes, “As a young woman, coming in contact with older men, sometimes you learn in small traumatic ways.”
The film was selected for the Atlanta Film Festival. Francesca is continuing to promote the film and the surrounding dialogue. “I would prefer a smaller number of people have a deeper connection with a film versus thousands of people having a shallow experience of it. People that like to read seem to like it a lot. I want the film to create a feeling inside you and for that feeling to stay a while.”
Mistakes Were Made asks you to notice the nuances of a child’s interaction with their world that can shape a their personality as an adult. Francesca subtly magnifies the socialization of the male/female dynamic through the eyes of a young women. We all know that no one is perfect, Mistakes Were Made helps us to see why.