Ma (2016) | Denver Film Society | Celia Rowlson-Hall | USA


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A study in how movement and gesture can do the work of dialogue, Ma follows the title character as she treks across the Southwestern desert toward Vegas to give birth, encountering outlandish travelers as she goes.

Acclaimed for her shorts and videos, Celia Rowlson-Hall directed, choreographed and stars in this tensely atmospheric, experimental allegory, which evokes both the Virgin Mary’s flight across Egypt and the temptation of Jesus. Ma is truly a story not just of migration but of crossing boundaries in every sense, of transgressing—all set against Brian McOmber’s quirky score. Stunning scenes of violence pass into performative ones as she and sometime companion Daniel turn their hotel room into a stage; DP Ian Bloom’s camera pauses for striking tableaux—a mother and her newborn among showgirls, for instance—amid the fluidity of dance.

Director Celia Rowlson-Hall will skype after the Friday February, 17th screening.

Producer: Aaron Schnobrich, Lauren Smitelli | Editor: Iva Radivojevic | Cinematographer: Ian Bloom | Screenwriter: Celia Rowlson-Hall
Cast: Celia Rowlson-Hall, Matt Lauria, Kentucker Audley, Amy Seimetz, Peter Vack