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JACINTA (2020, USA) movie review

The expression “parents” and “children” took on a whole new meaning with a documentary that was made by American documentary filmmaker Jessica Earnshaw for several years.

JACINTA movie review, plot

We meet the main protagonist Jacinta (26) while she is working on her last days in prison, where she also got off drugs. Her mother Rosemary is also in prison, having actually dragged her daughter into the world of drugs, crime, prostitution and everything that usually goes along with a similar “White Trash” from the interior of America. Jacinta and Rosemary also have in common that they both gave birth at the age of 16 and after her release from prison Jacinta tries to stay not only clean and stay away from drugs, but to re-establish contact with her ten-year-old daughter.

Very soon after giving birth to her, Jacinta gave up her daughter to her grandparents (and Dad is, of course, in jail) so she can freely dedicate herself to heroin, crack and everything else that poisons a team like her today. But very soon after she got out of prison, Jacinta will end up on the sidelines again and will be seriously stuck with drugs again and the question is whether there is any salvation for this young woman at all. In documentaries like this, I have always been most fascinated by how the authors manage to gain the trust of their protagonists and how they let them into their lives, which in this case are, to put it mildly, chaotic. Both Jacinta and almost all the other characters behave naturally in front of the camera and it seems to me that there was nothing to embellish or hide a really shocking and shocking reality.

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The author is there like a fly on the wall, with the camera in her hand constantly monitoring the protagonists and not interfering in their lives, but only recording what she sees in the space of a few years. It offers “Jacinta” a great insight not only into the lives of this catastrophic and traumatized family and a young woman who had a mother as a role model, a woman who cannot be a role model to anyone, and as if Jacinta consciously decided to repeat all the mistakes her mother made. Jacinta is probably just an example of countless identical cases of people who had a similar fate and who decided to go the wrong way. Always, watching movies like this, I was fascinated (in a negative sense, of course) by how going to jail is the most normal thing for these people.

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All of them are in prison for a while, so they go out and end up in the rest again and so on in a circle, and that seems to be the most normal thing for those people. The focus of the film, which has been highly praised by American critics for a reason, is the mother-daughter relationship, and how Jacinta, despite everything she went through, almost became the same to her daughter as her mother was to her. Despite being more than aware of what is happening to her, she not only can’t, but she doesn’t want to help. It is an extremely shocking and shocking documentary, one of the few examples in which we gain insights into the lives of authentic white Americans in such an uncensored and realistic way. After the premiere in Tribeca where photographer Earnshaw won the award for best debutante, this film had a fine festival life. Rating 8/10.

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Jacinta Trailer | Official Trailer