A feature film written and directed by Xenia Matthews
MAMABABY is the debut feature film from Xenia Matthews. This bizarre, body-meld, coming-of-age follows Florida Girl, Baby Pryce's quest to grow closer to her Mama in the aftermath of her abortion - an abortion that reminds Mama of several of her own. This film delves into the spiral of time, memory, love, and what it is to exist in a black femme body.
The initial inspiration comes from a short film I made in college (Good Blood) after having my first abortion. That film rose from not wanting to be silent about what I did. I wanted to express pride in my decision. I wanted to say, this decision was not life and death - there was no complications with my pregnancy. I just didn’t want to be pregnant and that's reason enough. I wanted to let people know my abortion brought me peace. It opened up my life.
In this film, I’m exploring why, at the end of this process, I felt cradled in love. The closeness I found with my own mom after she and I went through this process together, felt magical and the visual and thematic language of the film will reflect that feeling.
This is a film of memory hopping and body travel, of discovery and secrecy. I aim to show abortion as a life-affirming decision rather than a life-saving, life-ruining, or life-altering decision. And showing that with a black girl and her mom. In this film, I want to center generational healing and reproductive freedom in a black femme body.
writer and director Xenia Matthews