An Odd Pair
16mm + Super8 to 2K, 29:44 minutes, 2021
A parallel inquiry into the mysterious appearance of a pair of strange birds on my fire escape alongside a personal study of human fertility, twinning, and reproductive justice.
Exploring human/non-human entanglements and (odd)kinships spawned in assisted reproductive technologies, the film tracks a search for the origin of a fugitive pair of birds while investigating the circumstances of the filmmaker’s own twin pregnancy. The paired studies riff on doubling puns and human/bird analogies while troubling binary formulations that differentially privilege paired concepts like culture/nature, human/animal, intention/accident, success/failure. On an initial hunch that the bird pair might belong to a magician, the filmmaker follows multiple false leads that send her in various directions and to alternate discoveries. The filmmaker also stages ‘reenactments’ of the birds’ appearance featuring her twin sons dressed in homemade fancy bird costumes. Throughout, the filmmaker is led to retrospectively examine the copious medical records tracking hormone levels and egg production during fertility treatments in conversations with her own doctor. Experts additionally discuss the circumstances surrounding the mistake (medically speaking) of human twinning, the unregulated commercialization of assisted reproductive technologies in the US, and the significant racial and socio-economic disparities in access to these procedures.
Made with support of a grant from The NYCWomen's Fund for Media, Music and Theatre by the City of New York Mayor's Office of Media + Entertainment in Association with The New York Foundation for the Arts.