Local, state leaders react to possible overturning of Roe v Wade
S1: I'm Jade Hindman with Maureen CAVANAUGH. This is KPBS Midday Edition. A new county program offers free legal assistance to people living in long term immigration detention.
S2: The purpose of this system is to ensure that those laws are applied fairly and that every individual who is facing deportation in this country has a fair day in court.
S1: California is now offering Medi-Cal coverage to some unauthorized immigrants and a preview of the film Hatching. That's ahead on Midday Edition. The Supreme Court is reportedly poised to strike down Roe v Wade. Scott is confirm the authenticity of a leaked draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito. The draft opinion reads in part , quote , It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives , end quote. Speaking today , Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins gave this response to the news.
S3: I will be introducing a constitutional amendment that will make it crystal clear that reproductive rights in California , including and specifically abortion , are protected. We will not back down. We will double. Down.
S1: Down. Joining me with more on the California implications of this draft ruling is Maggie Schroeder , a San Diego lawyer and president of the Lawyers Club of San Diego. Maggie , welcome back to the program.
S2: Thank you very much for having me.
S1: So first , I'd like to hear your reaction to this draft opinion being leaked.
S2: I'm also very surprised that there was a leak from the Supreme Court. In fact , Chief Justice Roberts put out a statement this morning noting that , quote , This was a singular and egregious breach of trust. And he did direct the marshall of the court to launch an investigation. I'm not aware of any other time in our history that a draft opinion has been leaked to the press before it has been submitted or issued as a ruling of the court. So that in and of itself is another shocking aspect of this particular situation.
S1: And the majority opinion of this draft was written by Justice Samuel Alito.
S2: And what he talked about repeatedly was the right to an abortion. But what he did not talk about was the right of women. The right to an abortion is the most fundamental right that a woman has. It is the right of a woman to control her own body , to decide when , where and under what circumstances she wants to bear children. And this right is grounded in liberty and equality. In my opinion , there is no right more fundamental than that. And Justice Alito did not reference the right of women. He did not reference women's health. He did not reference the fact that pregnancy is not a health neutral event. Many women , as we all know , suffer immediate and long term adverse health effects from pregnancy and birth. Further , the financial and economic burden of pregnancy and birth is significant. Just in California , the cost of an uncomplicated vaginal delivery can range from 30 $200 to $37000 , and a C-section is between 8070 $1,000.
S2: I believe that this indicates that the Supreme Court is poised to overrule Roe and Casey. And what that means is it will effectively take the right to an abortion to the states. You know , the impact on California is less immediate. Obviously , we have a pro-choice legislature and a pro-choice governor who has already stated that he will fight to maintain the right to an abortion in the state of California. However , I do not think that Californians should mean that this will never impact us. If there is a Republican majority elected in Congress during the midterms , for example , they could hypothetically attempt to pass legislation that would ban abortion nationwide. You know , we should be clear that this is an attack on women. And the United States offers no universal health care , no universal subsidized child care , no paid family leave , no free birth control. And they are attempting to restrict the rights of women to control their own bodies.
S2: And for the states that the majority of their constituents do not agree with abortion , then you are free to pass legislation restricting abortion in its entirety. Again , there's going to be no at this point exceptions for rape , incest or life of the mother , if that's what the states decide. California could attempt now to pass legislation to say that the right of abortion will remain in the state. I'm just not sure , I think that the federal government could potentially attempt to overrule that. Again , if we get a Republican majority in Congress in the midterms. However , we would still have President Biden at this point , who has already stated that he is going to fight for the right of women to have abortions.
S2: Poised to do. Obviously , the Supreme Court has come out this morning and said this does not represent a ruling of the Supreme Court. It also does not represent the votes of all of the justices , even though it appears that Alito , Gorsuch , Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett have already voted to overturn Roe and Casey in this particular opinion. I think it depends on the individual state. And what we're looking at right now is that at least 20 other states would more likely than not pass legislation restricting access to abortion and reproductive health care. So the other issue that , of course , is it's going to increase the undue burden on pregnant people to obtain necessary care in those states , as well as any state that continues to provide these services. We have seen this already with the Mississippi legislation , with the Texas SB eight law , where women in those states are now having to travel thousands of miles , making extreme financial decisions to go to states to access this health care that are still providing them. Placing more of a burden on the states that are continuing to provide those services.
S1: And as you mentioned , women are already traveling , especially here to California , for reproductive care. If Rowan cases are overturned , more women will likely come to California.
S2: However , I think the states. You know , I've heard rumblings of that , that the states could pass legislation indicating that it is illegal to do so. And the other the other really concerning aspect of this legislation is that it makes it it makes , for example , family members , doctors , anyone who assists the mother in obtaining an abortion , potentially also at risk for a criminal prosecution. And so , for example , there was a woman in Texas who obtained an abortion and was arrested for a criminal act. And she could not tell her mother , her family , her doctor about this because they could potentially be charged. So even though it's not per se illegal to travel across state lines , the way this legislation is being drafted will certainly chill safe legal abortions no matter where where the woman is located.
S1: I've been speaking with Maggie Schroeder , a San Diego lawyer and president of the Lawyers Club of San Diego. Maggie , thank you for joining us.
S2: Thank you very much for having me.
S3: People in long term immigration detention in San Diego County can now get free legal assistance through a new county program. The Immigration Rights Legal Defense Program will provide attorneys to detainees in a similar way that public defenders are provided to indigent criminal defendants. It's the first time in the U.S. a border county has provided pro-bono attorneys to people facing deportation. Joining me is the chief sponsor of the plan , San Diego County Supervisor Tara Lawson Ramer. And welcome to the program. Hi.
S2: Hi. A pleasure to be here.
S2: And detention includes individuals who have an electronic bracelet for remote monitoring and other forms of detention , not only individuals who are currently incarcerated in the Otay Mesa detention facility.
S2: And those are very robust federal rules around eligibility. And the purpose of this system is to ensure that those laws are applied fairly and that every individual who is facing deportation in this country has a fair day in court to make sure that the law is applied fairly to everyone , regardless of ability to pay.
S2: The federal immigration court system is quite Byzantine. It's extremely complex. It's very confusing. And the end result is when you don't have an attorney , you often end up your rights are violated because you don't know what they are. You don't know how to assert them. You end up with a lot of delays. And unfortunately , we also end up with quite a bit of backlog because individuals don't know how to navigate through our immigration system. So really think about how difficult it would be if you arrived.
S4: In this. Country.
S2: Country. You didn't speak the language , you were thrown into a detention facility. You had a right for asylum claim to be here , but you had no idea what the rules were or how to make your case to the judge. And that's what so many members of our community face.
S2: My great grandparents , most of them came to this country fleeing persecution in Eastern Europe , persecution by Russia. Some of them are Ukrainian Jews fleeing the pogroms in Eastern Europe a century ago. And they came to this country because they knew that this country offered a safe haven for people under threat of death. And I know that , unfortunately , that same ability to access the American dream is being denied to so many individuals because our laws and our rules and our federal courts have become so complicated that so many people , like my grandparents who now arrive at our border , would not be able to access the same opportunities that my great grandparents did.
S2: And I certainly encourage that work to continue. But at the end of the day , the justice system should be based on facts and law and not access to wealth and resources. And that is the role of government , is to ensure that the justice system is fair for everyone. That is not just a voluntary thing that private citizens do. That's what we do together as a community.
S2: The ABA has actually been a real pioneer of this program , and they've been running a small version for a number of years themselves already. So we will be assisting them to scale up and we are also creating opportunities for individual. Immigrant defense attorneys to partner with the county to provide representation if the nonprofit partners don't end up having sufficient capacity.
S3: Now , there's no other U.S. county along the border that's providing this kind of legal service to immigrants facing deportation.
S2: We're not the first county nationally to offer such a program. There's over 20 counties nationally , but none of them are border region counties. And that's what makes this program so important , because we are the port of entry and we are now in San Ysidro in Otay Mesa. The same beacon of hope that Ellis Island was for previous generations.
S3: Now , immigrants in detention are not the only ones who need attorneys. We've heard many stories about asylum seekers who are returned to Mexico , and there they're hoping for some assistance from an attorney.
S2: We are really looking to succeed in this initial phase. And so we've been pretty clear about eligibility being detained within San Diego County , not in other countries. And I certainly think that as we have lessons learned and we see what works and better understand what kind of services and representation clients need , that we will be able to evaluate whether it makes sense to scale up and expand and in what ways it may make sense to do so.
S3: I've been speaking with San Diego County Supervisor Tara Lawson Ramer , and thank you so much for speaking with us. I appreciate it.
S2: Thank you.
S3: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. California is now offering medical coverage to lower income older residents who do not have legal status. It's the first time older , unauthorized immigrants will be eligible for full Medi-Cal benefits. People age 50 and older who qualify will now have access to not just emergency care , but primary care , dental care and more. The new coverage is part of an overall goal of the Newsom administration to allow all low income , unauthorized immigrants in California to be able to receive full Medi-Cal benefits. Joining me is KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis. Gustavo , hello.
S5: Hello , Maureen.
S3: So the medical coverage for older undocumented immigrants went into effect on Sunday , May 1st.
S5: Right. There was already a kind of limited medical sign up for this population , 50 and older , low income and unauthorized. But but it was limited to mostly like emergency type care. This one , as you said it it includes dental eye , mental health , access to prescriptions , even transportation and some long term care. And the big one , which you mentioned , is access to primary care doctors and more importantly , preventative care. Right. Particularly for people with chronic illnesses like diabetes , high blood pressure and asthma. This is a really , really big deal.
S5: The estimate is about 30,000 people.
S3: Now , expanding Medi-Cal coverage this way is expected to cost the state about $1,000,000,000. But supporters call this expense an investment.
S5: Right. At San Ysidro Health , for example. Doctors there see patients who need to see specialists for things like cancer and heart condition early on. But doctors can't refer them to a specialist because the patient doesn't have insurance. So it's like patients have access to just a fraction of our health care system. What do they do instead ? Right. They wait and wait until their health deteriorates to a point where they have no other choice but to go to that emergency room.
S5: They'll say they'll be able to offer better care for their patients. They'll have more patients which which might mean a little bit more money for them. But they also expect a much lower strain on emergency rooms , which we learned during the pandemic , can be really , really important for the entire region.
S3: And tell us about how this Medi-Cal expansion kind of fits into Governor Newsom's plan to provide health coverage to all lower income , unauthorized immigrants in California.
S5: Well , it's important to note that undocumented Californians contribute more than 3 billion in state and local taxes , and that's mostly through property and sales tax. These numbers are coming from the California Budget and Policy Center. But even though they contribute billions to to our our taxpayers , they're not eligible for a lot of public benefits that their taxes contribute to. And this is in many ways an equity issue as much as it is a health issue. Undocumented immigrants 26 and younger already have access to medical coverage. This one , as we've been talking about , expands that to the 50 and older crowd. Activists are already like even yesterday they were already in Sacramento actively organizing and lobbying for that in-between group , low income , unauthorized immigrants ages 27 and 49.
S5: As I said here in San Diego , 10,000 were enrolled automatically. So that definitely helps. But with that said , there are legitimate barriers and challenges to getting this population in particular to sign up. Right. Unauthorized immigrants tend to think twice about sharing their information , particularly their personal information with the government , especially after the Trump presidency. They're afraid that this could be used against them in an immigration context. There there's fears that if they apply for public benefits , they could get put on some list and get kind of prioritized for immigration enforcement , which isn't the case with medical. But still , that fear is out there.
S5: I know they can also go to some hospital. Bottles and health clinics and ask for help. Organizations like San Ysidro Health are helping people sign up as well. People who may not have access to two computers or the phone , and they have multilingual staff who are ready to help walk them through the process.
S3: I've been speaking with KPBS border reporter Gustavo Solis. Gustavo , thank you.
S5: Oh , thank you. Marina , I appreciate you having me on.
S1: Military leaders say they're conducting research to learn more about long COVID cases of COVID 19 , where the symptoms continue for months. Preliminary studies suggest millions of Americans are suffering from long COVID and service members who have it say it has threatened or ended their military careers. Andy Hirschfeld reports for the American Homefront Project.
S6: Cara Gaumont is the former chief of staff for the Defense Health Agency. She dedicated her career to helping keep servicemembers healthy. Then in November 2020 , Gaumont developed long COVID. She learned firsthand that the military at the time had no process to deal with it.
S4: Mia truly felt very abandoned by the health care system that I had , you know , at that time , given 28 years of my life to and to fixing.
S3: And nobody believed me. Nobody believed that.
S4: I was sick.
S3: Nobody believed. That.
S2: I had COVID.
S6: A year and a half later , she's still experiencing an ever changing wave of symptoms. Those include gastrointestinal problems and brain fog.
S2: And my doctors themselves.
S4: Didn't know what was going on. I didn't have an established.
S3: Plan of care with. Them.
S4: Them. They didn't necessarily agree what was happening.
S6: Gaumont says she tried to keep working. She couldn't keep up with the demands of the job. She wanted to take medical leave , but found that difficult. She says she felt judged by her colleagues and that maybe she wasn't tough enough to push through her illness. Eventually , she left the military.
S4: It was traumatic. It was a. Heavy.
S2: Heavy trauma that I'm going to live with.
S4: For the rest of my life to be alone and abandoned.
S6: Although Gaumont is the senior most official we spoke to , she is far from alone. About half a dozen people on active duty across the armed forces spoke to us anonymously out of fear of retaliation. They said they worry that if they seek help for their cases of long COVID , the military will force them out of their jobs. That's echoed by recent reporting from the Army Times , in which some soldiers said the same thing. Pentagon leaders say troops with long COVID should come forward. The Defense Department says it has the resources to help , including physical , emotional and cognitive treatments. Air Force Colonel Jennifer Garrison is the assistant director of staff for the Defense Health Agency.
S2: The good news is a long COVID clinic has been established in San Antonio , where there is a high population of Department of Defense beneficiaries. We are also managing many individuals in primary care , mental health clinics and other specialties based on symptoms related to COVID.
S6: The military is also continuing to study the problem. Last year , the Naval Medical Research Center began researching the long term effects of the virus on Marines. Kathy Morgenstern is with Survivor Corps , a group for people who've dealt with COVID 19. She says that with time , the military seems to be learning more.
S2: It seems like the military is actually coming around and understanding that there is something called long COVID and people suffering so much from their symptoms from that that they're allowing people that are.
S4: In the military.
S2: Actually take time off. At least that's what we've seen from our side.
S6: Morgenstern says it's good that the military is researching long COVID , but that doesn't do a lot for servicemembers who are dealing with it right now. The Pentagon has not released statistics on how many troops have long COVID symptoms. In New York , I'm Andy Hirschfeld.
S1: This story was produced by the American Homefront Project , a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans. Funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
S3: Every spring. For the last few years , KQED has been handing over the mic to teens as part of a youth takeover week. High school students from around the Bay Area produce stories that reflect their experiences and communities. Today we hear from Clara Chu , a junior at Woodside High School in San Mateo County. She explores how she's learning to balance her own identity with the pressures of high school.
S4: As I reread the sentence I've just written , my eyes tear apart the letters. Other seems words dangle uselessly like misplaced modifiers , empty cliches packaged together in an attempt at insight. With the decisive execution of a keystroke. My mistakes are wiped from existence. I'm back to staring at the impassive , unrelenting blankness of the screen before me. Its blankness , it seems , is a testament to my incompetence. Next to me , my classmates are working busily their fingers hammer out paragraphs with ease. What am I even doing in this class ? How have I managed to scrape by day after day ? I'm wearing a mask. Not one that protects me from germs , but one that shields me from scrutiny. But it's slipping. And soon it's going to reveal the fraud behind it. I've always carried the seed of doubt in the back of my mind. It's not uncommon , especially among people my age. Imposter syndrome , a sense of failure or fraudulence , a sense that your accomplishments are not your own. But instead a lucky throw of the dice. Imposter syndrome can appear in the workplace , relationships and social media. For me , these symptoms are exacerbated by academic pressures. An elementary school. I always felt the pressure to succeed based on my race. I was supposed to be that stereotypical , quiet Chinese kid. When I entered middle school , I measured my success based on the achievements of my older sister , Emma. When I spoke to her about this , she said that as the older sibling , she felt a different side of that pressure , the pressure of setting standards. So first of all , you're kind of expected to be a role model and set a good example for the younger siblings. And at the same time , since you're the parent's first child , they're also always pushing you to be better. And I feel like a lot of that overlaps with imposter syndrome , because they're both about keeping up a certain appearance or some reputation of capability. But this pressure , we feel , doesn't just come from having siblings. So I asked Emma , where does she think it comes from ? I feel like , especially me growing up in the Bay Area , there's a really big college culture where you're expected to do well , get good grades , get into a good college. So I think there definitely is that academic pressure to succeed. It's true. I've lived in the Bay Area my whole life , but even I've been intimidated by its height , heightened reputation. Its a stomping ground for tech companies and corporations. A place where just living is expensive and it has $1,000,000,000 education industry , private tutors , standardized test prep all aimed at pushing kids into college. Back in high school , it was always just kind of get into a good college and then you'll be met with not a lot of thought as to what comes after. And for me , as a junior in high school , that hasn't changed much. I'm confronted with the college application process everywhere I go. It's the biggest obstacle looming in my future. But aside from figuring out my future , the application process has aggravated my sense of identity. Being accepted or rejected by college can feel like a statement of my self-worth. Suddenly , activities I once enjoyed seemed dull routine. I feel like I'm choosing to do things based on how it will look to college admissions committee. Am I wasting my time on a subject I probably won't pursue in my really taking this class because I enjoy it or because it looks good to ? Maybe I shouldn't be here taking up a spot that someone else did. I really am a fraud hiding behind all these labels , trying to prove that , yes , I am successful. It's difficult to ignore these thoughts , Emma says , but it's even trickier to know how to navigate them. I definitely still do experience imposter syndrome. I feel it's something that doesn't go away. You just learn how to deal with it. But I feel like I learn to focus more on myself and my own interests rather than trying to think about what other people are doing or comparing myself to them. And that's helped me stay more grounded. I realize that that's what I've been doing , basing my standards on someone else's. And my sister's right. Imposter syndrome never really goes away. But I can't keep wasting my energy worrying about what I can't control. Instead , I can use that energy to pursue what makes me happy. Success is individual , isn't quantifiable by some universal measurement , and oftentimes you can only look at success through a rearview mirror , only seeing how far you've come once you're a good distance away.
S3: That was Clara Chu for the California report. She's a member of KQED's Youth Advisory Board.
S1: Each week , the majority of us fills a plastic garbage bag with waste that's hauled to the landfill. We throw away everything from non-recyclable plastics to food waste and plenty of other things. According to the City of San Diego , residents here throw away 1.58 million tons of trash each year. My next guest , though , is not in the majority. Frederica siren's family aims for zero waste. She is author of a new book , A Practical Guide to Zero Waste for Families , and she joins me now to talk about why her family made this choice and how her book can help others interested in reducing their waste footprint. Welcome to the show. Hi.
S2: Hi. Thank you so much for having me.
S1: So tell us exactly what Zero Waste means.
S2: Several ways. Just means that we're making conscious decisions to not produce any waste. So for us , we live by the simple rule that if we can compost it , recycle it , or reuse it , we just won't bring it into the home. We will refuse it.
S2: But once I became a mom 15 years ago to my first child , I realized that climate change was the action issue was going to affect my children. And because this is their future and I want to save it for them , because I want to give my kids everything. And that includes a perfect , nice , healthy planet to live on. So I started to think more about personal action and individual action and how important that actually is. It actually makes a huge difference. I do believe that companies and government needs to also be held responsible and help out , but I do believe that individual action is really important. So I started to just small , step by step , reducing our waste. So this was a journey that took us 15 years to get where we are today. Zero waste and a slow and sometimes painful journey. But we got to the end where we are now producing no waste at all. Wow.
S1: Wow. And so it's one thing to make that lifestyle change , but you decided to go ahead and write a book. So what made you decide to write that book on living a zero waste lifestyle.
S2: So when I started 15 years ago , there were no zero waste movement yet. They weren't even in their waste swaps. So everything I had to figure out on my own and that I think this is why it took so long for us to get to zero waste. So this is the guy that I wish I had 15 years ago. I so desperately wanted a guide to something to just give me the tips , the recipes , the ideas. I had to find a little bit here and there and figure out on my own. So I want to write a book to help other people , because I firmly believe that majority of people actually want to reduce their own waste. They just don't know how to. They don't know where to begin. And this is the guy to help them because there is something for everyone. And it's not about becoming zero waste. It is about reducing one small carbon footprint , one step at a time.
S2: For example , once we became zero waste and we did a trash audit , we actually realized that one third of our waste was food waste. And this was just simply food. Sometimes it gone bad because , you know , I didn't store the food the proper way or I forgot about food. So we really tackled food waste by reducing it , making sure that we ate our leftovers. We only shop when we needed to and stuff like that. So that is a tip to really go over your own food waste or your own food and just making sure that you're storing everything the proper way and reducing it that way. So that is a great tip that's in there in my book. And then the other one is just how can you actually go shopping without waste ? What places can you go find food that doesn't contain packaging ? And if you are not able to shop in bulk while there are still options , you can still choose a cardboard box which can be recycled over a plastic bag. And these are the small , small tips that actually makes a huge difference.
S1: And what would you say to someone who thinks going zero ? Waste is just too much effort and takes too much time.
S2: Well , that was actually my husband , because when I started my journey 50 years ago , my husband's journey was a little bit differently. He did not believe this was something doable. I mean , he he knew about climate change and he thought we should do something. But I think he saw more that the government should do something about it. He thought that zero waste was going to be too hard and too much work and he was too busy for it. But what he realized was that the zero waste actually saves a lot of money for us. It saves us $18,000 a year by just reducing our waste and living the way we do. But it is actually not taking a much more time. We did not become CO2 wasters to complicate our life. We did it to complicate our life. We have more time , more money , and we're just having less waste.
S1: Frederica Siren is author of A Practical Guide to Zero Waste for Families. Frederica , thanks for coming on the show.
S2: Thank you for having me. Have a nice day.
S3: This is KPBS Midday Edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with David Heineman. The movie Hatching , screened virtually at the Sundance Film Festival this past January , just opened in cinemas. It serves up a creature feature that is also a unique take on motherhood and coming of age. KPBS arts reporter Beth ACCOMANDO speaks with Finnish filmmaker Hannah Birchall about her feature directing debut.
S4: So Hannah , to start with hatching is this really unique coming of age horror film about a young girl who hatches a doppelganger out of an egg.
S2: And I just thought that was so intriguing. And I really want to make this film , but I want to change the lead character into a girl because I really miss seeing more films about women and girls. That is something I'm missing in the whole film history. So so then we started to develop the whole story together from this one sentence , and I started to think about this sentence that , okay , for me , if this girl is hatching something , it means that she's trying to hide some of her emotions , some sides of her character in hatching. There's a theme of motherhood. So then I wanted to make this a story about the relationship between mother and daughter , and there is a theme of growing up in the hatching. So it was all those themes really came up from this one. SANDERS I'm basically from the egg kind of.
S4: And there's such a sense of beauty in the production design , the cinematography , the actors you cast.
S2: So what is it.
S2: And because I wanted to tell this story through the experience of our main character , the girl and and what she's experiencing is that she can't really understand the dynamics of her parents in the in the family. And I wanted to show the whole film world kind of as the mother's world , because the mother is really controlling everything and pushing her daughter to succeed. And the mother is showing her family in her Instagram and telling how happy they are. So I really wanted to use only pastel like pastel colors because the mother doesn't want any strong emotions in the family. And and they are no dark shadows because mother doesn't allow any dark secrets. So you kind of see everything. Everything's in a softer light. And I wanted to use all the things that are considered to be lovely , kind of like pastel colors and a lot of roses. There's so many roses everywhere that it's kind of suffocating and everything is so well in place and so organized that it kind of starts to look a bit dead. And that's what where I was aiming at to get this kind of gritty but uncomfortable feeling for the audience.
S4: Once the egg hatches , there is some amazing stuff that happens.
S2: And what I was describing to them and showing some reference images here and there where I really want it to be totally deformed because these creatures total different than what the mother wants her daughter to be. The mother really wants her daughter to be this perfect gymnast with perfect controlled body. And this creature is just totally deformed and it's very disgusting in every way. And I was kind of describing that it's kind of like a smelly nature that it's raging to its parents and at the same time just actually wants to be loved as it is. And and also that it's not an evil character. It's it's it's not all bad. And then I knew that I really want it to be a physical character. So. So it's kind of really connect physically with the girl. And I didn't want to have a digital character , but instead he was an animatronic puppet , kind of like has been. And then I actually Googled that who is the best animatronic designer in the world to find that ? And and Google told me that. Oh , well , that is Gustaf Bergen , who has been creature designer in the latest Star Wars films and Jurassic World and from it. And I thought that he's quite good. So I sent him an email and he got excited about the story and collected a wonderful team to make this puppet for us. And yeah , and in the shooting we had five puppeteers moving the puppet with robots and we had Gustav moving all the facial expressions with the remote controls. And so there was a lot going on.
S4: And it also has , at least to begin with , a very birdlike physicality to it as it kind of , and then it sort of transforms. Yeah.
S2: Yeah. So in the beginning I really wanted it to be a kind of mixture of bird and young girl , and then it starts to transform and end. And then later on we had special effects makeup on. And then I contacted Conor O'Sullivan. So he's created this wonderful special effect makeups for us.
S4: The choice of doing practical effects was brilliant because it does make a difference.
S2: And there were many kind of practical things , like it's in a bath and then it starts to kind of break in every way because it's contracted with water. And luckily we had planned it all very carefully with a Gustaf who said that this bathing scene really has to be the last thing you should. And luckily it was like that because we got the final shot done and then it just broke. That was it. But we managed to show it everything.
S2: But I must say that our girls initially who played the lead character , Dania , so she said that actually it was a bit difficult to imagine that. Okay , this creature supposed to be scary because she or she saw these five puppeteers around the creature and she was just trying to concentrate on not seeing the puppeteers and kind of thinking , okay , I'm scared , I'm scared , I'm scared. So. So every time that people ask her that , was it scary to be in a shooting show , this kind of a horror film , as you said ? Well , the end result was scary , but in the shootings , it was nothing but scary. It was actually quite funny. So they're making everything now.
S4: You have all these themes of motherhood and growing up and perfection , but all these things seem to be kind of like amplified and almost perverted by social media and by , you know , this desire to curate the images we present.
S2: And in the first script version , we didn't get to have this social media theme there , but then I started to think about that what is today's way of keeping up appearances and maybe the longing into the group and being as much a light as others and get others like our alive ? And I think that is really social media and that's how the social media and all those things came into this film.
S4: All right. Well , I want to thank you very much for talking about Hatching.
S2: Thank you very much.
S3: That was KPBS arts reporter Beth ACCOMANDO speaking with director Jana Berg. Home Hatching is currently playing at San Diego Area AMC theaters and starts streaming on May 17th.