With moves across states and travels abroad, Sara Hayden must leave and return to find home. “Mirror” is her story about growing up mixed race and finding her place in the world.
Sara Ann Hayden marks her creative filmmaking debut with “Mirror.” Raised on the Front Range in Wyoming and Colorado, she’s the founder of the Silk Knots Project, dedicated to preserving and sharing the lived experiences of AAPI folks in the Mountain West of the United States. As a journalist, her work is in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Half Moon Bay Review and Resonate: Global Voices on East Asian Issues. Her favorite stories center on art, culture, food and especially people. She holds a B.A. East Asian Languages and Cultures from U.C. Berkeley and a M.A. Communication – Journalism from Stanford University.
“Mirror” is a lifetime in the making. The telling of this story found its way when I found mine, learning how I wanted to move through the world as someone who’s mixed race, be seen by others, and see myself. I first wrote this piece as a love letter to comfort my younger self, and anyone else who’s felt alone in their journey.
Taking audiences on a chronological tour, slices of life illuminate key moments over the course of nearly 30 years. Balancing between nostalgia and presence in the here and now, “Mirror” is pieced together as a poetically narrated scrapbook with personal photos, videos, and sketches collected over just as long.
This intimate story is about my own life and relationships, yet resonates as a universal story about growing up. “Mirror” reflects all those firsts and the complicated emotions that accompany them. It captures the disorientation and loneliness of moving away and entering unfamiliar environments, right next to a sense of discovery and awe of the world’s breadth. There’s the exploration and challenge of starting fresh at college, upended by the disappointment that in going somewhere new, you’ve actually run into what you were looking to leave behind. There’s the joy of falling in love, the betrayal and heartbreak of falling out of love, and the hope of finding it again, almost all within the same breath. At the same time, these relatable experiences in “Mirror” are intensified by encounters with racism, sexism, and disconnection in diaspora, driving a personal hunger to belong.
But as much as “Mirror” is about seeking connection with other people, it turns into a story about connecting with oneself. An undercurrent of shame, self-consciousness, and loneliness gives way to a discovery of self-love and celebration. It answers the question, “Where is home?” Home needn’t be found in a place. You are home.
– Sara Ann Hayden
Watch “Mirror” on YouTube