The Undertow charters the relationship between a mother and daughter in 1990’s Ireland. As one comes to terms with her sexuality, the other struggles to find her independence and agency in a country where the personal is political and being oneself can come with grave consequences.
Set in rural Ireland, Undertow is a character portrait of a unique and powerful mother/daughter relationship. The film focuses on a pivotal year in the life of our protagonist, Saoirse 15, a fiercely independent young woman.
Saoirse struggles to understand her mother Tara, when she comes out to her husband during Saoirse's senior year in secondary school. Tara's confession initially breaks up Saoirse’s family at a time when Saoirse is first learning about her own sexuality. In a country where homosexuality is illegal, Saoirse must keep her mother's secret and steer her own course.
Saoirse and her father find solace through sailing at sea, but with a tumultuous marriage on its last leg, Saoirse must find a way to accept her mother’s new relationship and a sudden change of scenery.
Through a series of increasingly rebellious acts, Saoirse comes to understand her own limitations and redefines her perception of Tara and her unconventional family.
Soairse – Sydney Addison-Rudat
Sean – Luke Robinson
Narration – Vanessa Burns
Bill – Russell Batcher
Tara – Pip Dwyer
Louisa is a graduate cum laude from UC Berkeley’s Art Practice Department where she specialized in film production. After graduating, Louisa studied and then worked at the Saul Zaentz media center where she helped to run the Berkeley Digital Film Institute. During that time Louisa consulted on the production and development of films such as Zaytoun, Witness11, IOU, and most recently Up Pohnpei.