After being unexpectedly pulled out of school for the day, 10-year-old Hils accompanies her unconventional mother, Greta, on a routine drive to Canada to run an illegal errand. As Hils begins to see Greta’s flaws for the first time, their roles are reversed.

Based on writer/actor Hillary Sproul’s own childhood, this film explores the sometimes unreliable dynamic of a mother/daughter relationship through the lens of a memory.

Director’s Vision for ‘Border Line’

As an artist, I am interested in shifting dynamics in relationships and the things that people cannot or do not say to each other: the tensions that linger in ordinary interactions. When Hillary shared the script for Border Line, I found it compelling because we are exploring a changing relationship between a mother and daughter where the boundaries are amorphous and so much is unsaid. Greta pulls Hils out of school to accompany her on a drive to Canada with the promise that she will buy Hils a gift once they secure the object of Greta’s desire: “perfectly legal”, over-the-counter codeine. As they make the drive, Greta attempts to compensate for Hils missing school by entertaining her with lessons about famous artists she idolizes. While it’s clear that Hils admires her mother and enjoys these lessons, Greta’s disillusionment with her own life permeates their interactions. When they stop at a yard sale and Hils picks out a beret that matches her mothers, the contrast of Susan, the maternal woman running the yard sale raises doubts for Hils about Greta’s own capacity for motherhood. When Greta snaps at the woman for asking a prying question, Hils further retreats from Greta and refuses to wear the beret. After returning home, Hils understands Greta’s flaws and forgives her, but their relationship has shifted with each moment that Hils sees her mother in a different light.