Painful labyrinths of memories and emotions. Sky-high walls built against true love. Tears, regrets, and broken dreams. Have you ever felt imprisoned? We’ve all experienced some form of heartbreak in our lives. But who is to blame? The one who holds the knife or the one who does not resist getting injured? The answer to this dilemma can be found in the documentary titled LoveTrue.
The film directed by Alma Har’el delves into the complications and contradictions that live inside human emotions. To develop the metaphor of Eros and Thanatos, the filmmaker follows three couples in different parts of the world who are going through the same issue: a fork in the road caused by a truth of the past.
Blake is a stripper in Alaska who feels sexually unsatisfied due to her partner Joel having a disability. Victory is a street musician in New York who finds it hard to find love while also dealing with her mother’s absence. Meanwhile in Hawaii, Will deals with the news that his best friend is his son’s biological father.
What does one do in these moments of uncertainty? When encountering these stories, we realize that while love is necessary to survive life, it can also lead us to infinite despair. Through this point, we can reach two conclusions: we either embrace all those problems and discover we can still rise above them all, or we say goodbye and try to start again.
Har’el explained that she made the film after going through a separation herself. “I was separating from my husband, who’s now my best friend —and that transition was painful. It took years. Some of the biggest lessons we need to learn about loving life and ourselves come from love that didn’t meet our expectations.”
Har’el took her internal monologues and translated them into film. In LoveTrue we learn the past, present, and somewhat future of the characters. Viewers are able to contextualize and understand the complication on a deeper level. We see how the guilty party is not the one inflicting pain, but the martyr who internalizes.
These strands of narrative are hand-woven by Har’el through performance and psychodrama, making it the most interesting part of the film. Everyone becomes an actor, but eventually the mask must come off.
LoveTrue is about hitting a wall; it’s about coming to the realization that both present and future hurt because of a wrong choice in the past. Nonetheless, how can we be happy if we carry a ghost of self-pity around?
The film was released in 2016 under the production of Shia Labeouf, who met Alma Har’el while filming a Sigur Rós video. The score, composed by Flying Lotus, submerges us into the experimental environment of the tired subject of love.
Translated by María Suárez