An astonishing record of the hereditary nature of trauma, Jacinta follows the lives of three generations of women struggling to find stability amid years of dependency. Jacinta leaves the Maine Correctional Center, leaving her mother behind to complete her own sentence, and attempts to rebuild her relationship with Caylynn, her preternaturally wise pre-teen daughter who craves time and attention from the mother she adores. But as the pressures of shaping a life in a world she has hardly known sober proves increasingly challenging, she brings the viewer into her emotional, day-to-day battle to find peace with herself and earn the trust of her family.
In Jessica Earnshaw’s devastatingly insightful film—her first—we’re not only given a window into the effects of Jacinta’s addiction but, most importantly, its root causes. Earnshaw remains embedded with her subject, often in precarious conditions, committed to documenting the roller-coaster journey of a promising woman repeatedly knocked down by her past. Jacinta’s harrowing experience and her child’s emotionally astute and profound reaction to years of disappointment combine to create a tragic but hopeful tale of love and American life.—Liza Domnitz
Jessica Earnshaw is a documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work focuses on criminal justice and healthcare. Her photography has appeared in National Geographic, The Marshall Project, Mother Jones, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR.