Marrow – A Witch's Perspective on Mental Illness and Feminism
Two sisters, Morgan (played by Alexandra Lainfesta) and Maura (Baraka Rahmani) explore their tensions, traumas, and failures in an atmospheric and heart-wrenching performance with a very strong presence of cheesecake. Maura is a university dropout using kickboxing to find her way through a difficult recovery from an eating disorder. Morgan is a successful academic writing a thesis on the Salem witch trials. Exploring their unresolved tensions between one another and with their parents, Lainfesta and Rahmani give a very convincing and touching portrayal of the way that siblings love and hate as only siblings can.
The production makes very strong use of flashbacks to other important events in the story and an interesting overlapping stream-of-consciousness style dialogue about womanhood, strength, weakness, and witchcraft. The interjections are jarring in a sensual way: they build an anxious and troubled atmosphere while putting us inside the unstable mental world of the two sisters. The candlelight, chalk circles and pentagrams lend themselves to the brooding tension.
Women became witches to break away from orthodoxy, to reclaim their lives. Their hair does not burn. It cannot be cut. Try your sword. Your pistol. Your fists.
Marrow spoke to me quite deeply. Morgan's portrayal of the witches of Salem as rebels who sacrificed orthodoxy for self-direction was very powerful to me. Marrow will take you on a journey through witchcraft, orthodoxy, mental illness, and the progression of women through centuries. What makes people strong and what makes them weak? Ask yourself as you watch Marrow, because you should watch it.