A woman runs into a super market, sneaks an olive and life takes an unexpected turn with no way out

‘Super Market’ is a tale of psychological bewilderment and sensory overload when a woman sneaks an olive. She gets magically pregnant and finds herself stuck in an alternate universe with no way out. The film is directed by Rhonda Mitrani who joins the marvellous ranks of Female Filmmakers on Film Shortage.  ‘Super Market’ was inspired by real pregnancy stories but placed in a surreal setting, inspired by Eugene Ionesco’s The Rhinoceros. Jasmine (played by Heather Lind), walks down the aisles stocked with bizarre baby products and other absurdities that she’s expected to put in her cart. In addition, she meets the shoppers, whom all have their own philosophy on how to approach pregnancy and new life. Rendered with sensory overload and a real psychologist sitting by the meats, Jasmine tries escaping the barrage of unsolicited information. Meanwhile, her only way out is by looking inside herself.

This short film is a playful satire about what women confront the moment they discover they’re pregnant in the US: a pregnancy industrial complex engineered to capitalize on birth and toddlerhood, all of which makes it harder to navigate through the all the decisions when it comes to giving birth. Rhonda gave us an insightful look at her own experience and how it eventually shaped the film.

SuperMarket, Where Every day is Labor Day

SUPERMARKET is a result of having my own three children and living through the ever-growing pregnancy industry in America. I know what it’s like to live through our health care system and the delicate landscape of liabilities, insurance protocols, c-sections, natural births and flying hormones.  I observed the lack of support in pre- and post-partum care and the constant exposure to the onslaught of things that we “must” read, “must” buy and “must” eat during those nine-months. SUPERMARKET points a finger at the a the giant pregnancy industry waiting to monetize on this whole experience. One that is supposed to be one of the most transformative and spiritual events of our lives. Instead, it’s anxiety-ridden for so many new parents.

While I was pregnant and in hospital waiting rooms or even Super Market aisles, the inspiration was all around me. I loved listening to women’s comments about becoming a parent, how to be a pregnant woman, or even choosing not to become a parent. I put the memorable ones in this story. Also, realized what a significant place the supermarket was when I heard more than once, I finally made it out of the house, I am on my way to the supermarket! The film METROPOLIS always comes up for me when I think of our pregnancy industry. This concept of being a cog on a wheel was a constant while developing this film. This short is also socially driven. It helped me illuminate my own resistance during my three pregnancies and one miscarriage.

In real life, the nemesis is liability

Without liability and the giant profit generating business there would be less c-sections, less books to buy and of course, shorter registries. We would have a better healthcare network, one that focuses on the real matter at hand for each and every experience for new mothers.

In this story, Jasmine rushes through aisles, taking advice from all the shoppers who eventually turn into a rhino. It is only after she asks real questions with the therapist next to the deli section that she realizes it. This place, this supermarket, her fear and self doubt is only inside her head. That gets confirmed when she feels a kick and at that point she’s decided to make her escape by crashing through those doors. But this speaker, this omnipotent power was listening the whole time and the doors glide open. Was she scrooged? Did this really happen? We only know she is a different person when she walks out of the supermarket.

“I want other women to not feel trapped in that supermarket”

My film lends itself to the absurd, but absurd is the new normal for pregnant women and active Dads. There are masses of new parents that depend on the system that exists today. They put their confidence in it and belief in it, even when advice and recommendations are conflicting. The film asks that we question everything they throw at you and trust our intuition. I want other women to not feel trapped in that supermarket.

Motherhood has become more transactional than transformative in today’s consumer-culture. My hope is for SUPERMARKET to inspire truthful and tough conversations about how we can better support and empower each other and create a better healthcare network. This idea came to me on a scratch piece of paper years back. Making it was harder than giving birth, but just like we forget the pain of birthing, I would do it all over again.