Knowingly Unknown

Short, 28 min

A single mother accepts her daughter isn’t just going through a phase.


A beautifully intimate insight into the difficulty of opening up to your family

Ye-shin is a typical teenager, being raised by her single mother, a school nurse. One day, Ye-shin’s mother finds out that Ye-shin has a crush on another girl in her class, and their mother-daughter relationship (which is already characterised by a lot of bickering) is tested.

The beauty of this short lies in its simplicity. Oftentimes, it can become clear while watching the film that the scriptwriter had a feature length story in mind, but could only secure a budget that allowed for a running time of a quarter that size. However, here the short format is used effectively, to focus on the mundane and relatable aspects of the mother daughter relationship; who has not had a conversation with their parents that involved the dialogue “I thought you liked this food?” and “no, that was ages ago, you don’t know anything!”.

During its 28-minute runtime, the short manages to make the main character’s struggle with sexuality relatable, without trivialising the pressures placed upon single mothers, particularly when having to toe the line between wanting to be involved in your child’s life, but also wanting to give them the space they need to develop for themselves. Ultimately, the film shows that it is the tiny gestures of care and solidarity, that can make us feel loved. In a short filled with amazingly well-rounded characters (main cast as well as supporting cast), it is in a contribution to the eternal does pineapple-belong-on-pizza debate, that this short delivers its most powerful metaphor for lesbian acceptance.

This review was written by:



Resident Reviewer

Pippa is a writer and researcher, who is currently preparing her PhD research on LGBT+ experiences in Higher Education. She's working very hard to watch every LGBT+ film ever made.

Instagram: @PippaSterk