In a world where female liberation remains elusive within the confines of a Catholic Church, a devoted 'nun' embarks on a courageous journey of self-discovery and emancipation, defying the boundaries that seek to confine her spirit.
Directed by Julissa Scopino
"Trapped" is a film about female liberation. All women, regardless of race, age, class, color, or occupation, are empowering themselves now more than ever. This film embodies how women take control and release themselves from situations that have tied them down. One thing I learned about embarking on this project was that I want to continue making films about women and witnessing their evolution into personal power.
Throughout history, women of all ages, all ethnicities, and all class levels have worn their own invisible "habit" where some of their passion/instinct/voice/decision/dream/circumstance/desire was locked down by societal norms—the concept of duty versus freedom. Today, the almighty woman looks upon a new horizon. Our role has changed. With power and privilege in our hands, choice and voice become limitless. The future is ours. This cinematic short was made for the women of the world; let's continue to empower
"Trapped" is an eternally profound, emotionally driven story that delves into the repressed desires of a nun. I've always been intrigued by the private lives of nuns. For many, the "nun" is considered the unknown female. Who is this female? What goes on inside her soul? How does she identify herself with our culture? There will never be a single answer; this is where the mystery lives for most of us. In this opening shot, colored by Ryan McNeal, we instantly begin with the feeling of uncertainty, hence, the tilted angle of the church. Welcome to the enigma of our holy nun.
The story of my grandmother inspires this film. As a desperate plea to live, my dying grandmother wore a religious habit for months before her death as a piety to God, hoping her life might be salvaged from the dark fate that awaited her and the eight little children she would leave behind. Months after my grandmother's death, my mother, who was seven years old at the time, along with her cousin (same age), were carrying pails of water when out of nowhere, they saw my grandmother staring at them and wearing the religious habit in which she was buried: Otherworldly but a true story. My interest in the "female in the habit" began here. My interpretation is unique, and my fascination is ongoing. The "nun," the mystical woman, the silenced woman, the unknown woman, the trapped woman. Who is this woman encompassed inside the habit? What is she hiding from? Who is she hiding from? All these questions have been circulating in my subconscious for years, starting from my earlier days as a Catholic schoolgirl and even now as a forward-thinking feminist woman. My goal was to peel the internal layers of the mystic "nun," examining societal pressures through her point of view and eventually freeing the "nun." - hence freeing the woman.
"Trapped" was shot on both 16mm film and digital - I began experimenting with some André Bazin film techniques of the long shot.