Writer/Director, Morgan Ingari
on her film Milkwater...
As a young gay woman who wants to have children someday, I spend a lot of time thinking about the complexities of having children in gay relationships, and how that process often involves people outside the relationship. As the family unit becomes less and less traditional, I think there's an opportunity to explore both the beauty and the vulnerability in that.
I'm also drawn to complex women, and complex women having children. I've seen many of my incredibly magnetic, brilliant, flawed female friends struggle with how to incorporate their identities into their pregnancies. I'm passionate about examining the different facets and layers of sexuality, womanhood, and femininity, and how those coalesce into the decision to have children or get pregnant. I'm also compelled by the "crazy woman" archetype - I think it's essential to dig past the stereotype and into the nebulous emotions underneath.
Milkwater follows a young woman, Milo, who feels left behind as her childhood best friend gets ready to give birth. This is the first time that it's felt real to Milo that she might not be the most important person in anyone's life. Driven by a desire to do something that "matters," she offers to become a surrogate and egg donor for an older gay man, Roger, she meets at a bar. Roger hesitantly agrees, fearing this might be his last chance to have a child. While the two have instant chemistry, Roger begins to fear Milo won't let him pull back and raise the child on his own when it is born. Sensing Roger pulling away, Milo panics and begins using the pregnancy to keep Roger from leaving.
I want to be an artist who champions women by not only writing them, but by casting them, consulting them, and employing them. It’s one of my proudest accomplishments to have created Milkwater with a team of entirely female department heads, and I hope this lens and environment deepened the artistic merit of the film. In everything I write, I ask myself if this character is a character I would have wanted or needed to see at fifteen. Would she have made me think about myself more? Feel like there were other people like me? Feel like I better understood complicated women without needing to call them crazy? My hope is that Milo can be someone who makes bad choices for sympathetic reasons. I also hope that with the idea of what makes a "traditional" family being challenged every day, more people tell stories about what that means and looks like.