Director: Shayna Connelly
United States, 2020, 7 min
Seven-year-old Bananas Girl asserts her independence, perfects the art of the non-sequitur and navigates the boundaries between herself and her mom. The film exists in the intersection of home movies, performance art and documentary, incorporating a mother’s and daughter’s obsessions and their parallel views of what it means to be creative.
About the director
Shayna Connelly's work explores hauntings, liminality and the boundaries between documentary, experimental and fiction filmmaking. Her early work screened at Heaven Gallery, The Milwaukee Art Museum and the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. Her most recent work has screened at IC Docs, CIMMfest, Reel Shorts, Big Muddy Film Festival, Columbus International Film Festival, Charlotte International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival and Athens International Film and Video Festival among others. She is in post-production for a ghost story, 'Quiver', shot in December, 2017 and slated for release in fall. New City Magazine named her one of Chicago's 50 Screen Gems of 2016.
Most portrayals of modern girlhood are fiction.
All children are creative with language and delight their parents with their insights, mispronunciations and cute phrasing. As the lone family extrovert, my daughter talked (and talks) non-stop, formulating her ideas in the process of speaking, often with bizarre results. There is no censorship of thought, no consideration of propriety, no inkling that her voice could be devalued for being female. Her utterances are surreal, beautiful and hilarious. She is an outspoken, direct and brutally honest human who is also caring and optimistic.
Bananas Girl is aware of her audience and enjoys delighting them with non-sequiturs, absurd questions ["wait, is this my face?"] and visual metaphors. When she went to Kindergarten, I waited for her divergent thinking to fade and be replaced is by the rule- and logic-oriented thinking instilled through our educational system. But at the end of grade school her creative world view persists. She has changed, certainly, but her poet's heart hangs on.