Kirsty Jones, Marketing Manager at the Hackney Picturehouse previews this week’s Discover Tuesdays presentation LoveTrue.
It’s the most romantic time of the year, so why not settle down to a documentary about love? Israeli-American director Alma Har’el takes the subject on in her latest documentary, LoveTrue. But don’t be fool by its title – this is no starry-eyed fairy tale.
Har’el employs and number of techniques to playfully yet effectively tell the stories of three main characters: Coconut Willie, Blake and Victory. Using actors, Har’el explores her subjects’ past or future. But these actors do not merely play their role, they become part of the story as we hear about how assuming their given character has an affect on their own ideals and ambitions. Role-playing also gives us a pleasing visual aid to defining moments in the subjects’ pasts. The only thing that ties these three accounts together is that they have all experienced love but also heartache.
This is just Har’el’s second feature, yet she’s already highly regarded in the documentary field. Her award-winning debut, Bombay Beach, has been described as genre-defining and is even taught in such places as Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab and Film Center. Har’el’s style, which blends fact and fiction, holds a place in the conversation of how truly subjective a documentary can be. Once a filmmaker is involved in a subject, how true to reality is what follows? Har’el isn’t afraid of introducing fiction and narration into the story to help tell it better, and LoveTrue is no exception.
I won’t divulge anymore into the lives that Har’el investigates; the joy of watching LoveTrue is the subtle reveals and the twists of each story.
Ultimately LoveTrue is a bittersweet account of three ordinary yet extraordinary people, reaffirming the complexities of the human condition. We’re a resilient bunch, and where there’s love and belonging to be found, we’ll find it.