Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Media Studies

Reader 1

T. Kim-Trang Tran

Reader 2



A woman is born with all the eggs she will ever have; therefore, when carrying a female fetus she is also holding her daughter’s ova— one of which eventually may become her own grandchild. The title of my film, TRI • OVUM, alludes to this matryoshka doll phenomenon, a biological process that creates omnipresent bodily and spiritual empathy among female-born relatives. TRI • OVUM plays with the number three— three women, thirty hours, and three distinct nodes of time. We are three, but of one.

In my thesis I use experimental dance-film to explore the themes of matrilineal bonds, death, life and the energy we leave behind, as they relate to the lives of my mother, my grandmother, and myself. TRI • OVUM works in metaphor, reimagining the emotional conditions under which my mother gave birth to me and the diametric coinciding event of my grandmother’s passing. In the months leading up to her death, my terminally ill grandmother often called her pregnant daughter, asking, “Can’t you hurry?” in the hopes that she could stay alive long enough to meet me. Thirty hours after delivering me by emergency caesarean section, at 3 o’clock in the morning, my mother awoke suddenly in her hospital bed. This moment was the exact time, she would later learn, that my grandmother breathed her last.

In the world of TRI • OVUM, time is split between the atemporal non-space of the afterlife and womb, and the natural temporal world, represented by the beach and orchard. In the sphere of non-space life and death can overlap, allowing the space-time continuum to bend so that characters in the past, present, and future may interact to find catharsis. In this environment the gauze cloth represents both time and the womb. The fetus/daughter character matures within the gauze womb, which here is like an hourglass measuring the grandmother’s allotted time. She understands that time is cyclical and in order for her energy to be repurposed and lived through her granddaughter she must pass on, for there is only so much of it and time is a rite that must be shared and passed down. TRI • OVUM— we are three, but of one.

Streaming Media

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.