A Podcast by Tally Abecassis
April 3rd, 2015
I always wanted to be a mother and I always wanted to have a career. After taking time off to take care of my young children, I expected my transition back to work to be uncomplicated. After all, that’s what I had been promised. I didn’t expect to feel conflicted. I didn’t expect to feel like my identity as a mother might overshadow my identity as a filmmaker (both to myself and to others). I didn’t expect to feel like I was betraying my ambitious younger self. But all these things are happening.
I recently heard author and professor Andrea O’Reilly say that women have come so far with work, but motherhood is the unfinished business of feminism. Looking around, it feels like most of the mothers I know are questioning their own work-family dynamic; wanting to lead fulfilling professional lives, trying to be available for their children, trying to feel less guilty, and also, wondering how to be themselves again.
I have always loved radio and last year I fell in love with podcasts. Having someone’s voice in your ears can be intimate in a way that is hard for video to match. It is one thing to see a person’s facial expression or actions tell a story, something else to hear a person describe their experience in their own words. What struck me about podcasting is how conducive it is to telling a story over time. I decided to follow myself as I get back to my filmmaking career, trying to get a film off the ground while figuring out how to balance family life. I have never done a “personal documentary” before (and I’m not sure I would do it again), but I am bringing the microphone into my home, to my kids’ daycare, and into work meetings. I’m including all of it: the insecure thoughts, the inner conflict, and hopefully some moments of satisfaction.
This podcast is the first episode of First Day Back. Listen to the rest of the series here.
Tally Abecassis is a documentary filmmaker with 2 young boys. She is chronicling her return to work after the longest maternity leave ever on the podcast First Day Back. Tally’s documentary films, on subjects ranging from collecting to taxidermy competitions, have played at festivals such as Hot Docs, SXSW, Full Frame, and the Brooklyn Underground Film Festival and have aired on television around the world.
In addition to her film work, Tally published the coffee table book Barbershops with photographer Claudine Sauvé. She is the founder, co-curator and co-host of This Really Happened, the popular live storytelling series in Montreal.