Fell in Love with a Girl

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Fell in Love with a Girl

Directed by Kaleo La Belle

  • USA 2017; 119 min
  • Original version: English, German
  • Genre: Documentary

Synopsis

A story that begins as a utopian quest to create an alternative life for a patchwork family, becomes a complex look at relationships and the personal needs of 6 individuals struggling to find a common thread in their love for each other.

Director's Statement

FELL IN LOVE WITH A GIRL is the chronicle of a slice of time in two love stories: one romantic and one as a father, in the framework of a family’s attempt to keep children, parents, and new loves together.

Having grown up alone with my mother, I wonder what motivated my father to leave his son in pursuit of his own freedom? And at what point is personal freedom nothing more than selfishness? Now a separated father myself, I am driven to keep my children with me, as if responsibility could be my ultimate form of rebellion.

Is there a family model for separated parents other than living in two households? How far will one go for love? What does it mean to be a family? What is one willing to sacrifice for one or for the other? These were the questions I was facing in my personal life, questions I deemed to be rich and pertinent for cinema.

I chose to shoot the film primarily myself, using a cameraman in critical moments when I knew I had to be purely a protagonist. It was important to me that the viewer be in the intimacy of the space of the characters. The authenticity of the journey was paramount. To me, a film cannot be personal enough! However, I am not interested in subjecting an audience to some private therapy session or in exploiting the private lives of my protagonists. As a director, in making intimate films and telling personal stories, I find it integral to differentiate between what is personal and what is private, private in my opinion not being for the screen.

The intention of this film was to keep the family‘s motivations free from the filmmaker‘s. As a filmmaker, I am interested in personal stories, where we come from, and the choices that form us. A self-ethnographer, I look at the microcosm of my own life journey, my family’s story, and our cultural parameters. My work is motivated by framing a story through an ultra subjective lens, while connecting to a larger, universal story. The question of whether to film oneself or someone else is essential to my work. Choosing not to spare myself from my own case study gives weight to my de- cisions as a director and contour to my characters and myself. If I were prepared to make this same film about someone else’s life, why shouldn’t I then decide to film my own?

Production

  • LA BELLE FILM

    Emma Marxer