Region: Ontario and Nunavut
Year of Production: 2018
Duration: 87 minutes
Cassandra Hayward thinks she’s got it all figured out. She’s a strong woman, single, a writer, lives by her own rules. So what’s the problem? Mouthpiece opens just after the sudden death of Cass' mother Elaine and spirals as she begins to recognize the resemblances between her “doormat” mum and
herself, and the frightening similarities between the struggles of past generations of women and the reality of today. She is a woman divided. Cassandra is played by two women - expressing the opposing voices that exist inside the modern woman's head: the push and the pull, the past and the present, the progress and the regression. We follow Cass for forty-eight hours as she tries to accomplish a seemingly simple set of tasks: dressing "appropriately", shopping for a casket, choosing flowers and funeral reception snacks, picking out a dress for her dead mother’s corpse, a drink at a bar, sex with a friend, smoking a joint with another friend -- all the while trying to write a eulogy for her mother. The thing is though, Cass is fucked. She’s in crisis, can't think straight, in wild conflict with herself and she messes everything up. Her family keeps calling and telling her not to give the eulogy, "given what happened at Christmas.”
Her phone is full of messages from her mother the night she died... somehow Cass is implicated and racked with guilt. Her father, her aunties, even her little brother Danny are all worried about what Cass will do. Memories of childhood bash up against the present day as she unravels the threads of how she has become the woman she is, and what kind of woman her mother was. Her brain is divided. She feels one thing and thinks another at the same time, she is pushed and pulled in totally different directions by the billboards and pop-up ads, the memories of her mum, imagined musical song and dance numbers in grocery stores, the lullabies and fairytales, the sexist jokes she herself tells, the voices of her aunties and her friends...Her mum, like Cass herself, is just too complex to be pinned down. A funny, sad journey through grief, and an exploration of contemporary feminism, Mouthpiece places the voices of a fierce 30-year-old urban woman today, next to the voice of her mother’s generation, proving that it’s always two steps forward, and one step back.
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Mouthpiece (FGM) Films Inc. ,First Generation Films Inc. ,Vos Productions Ltd.
Cast/Participants: Amy Nostbakken, Norah Sadava, Maev Beaty