Them (Or Things My Ex-boyfriends Have Actually Said to Me)
A film by Jamie Jankovic
"I am in complete admiration of Jamie's choice to tell a story in the utmost vulnerable and terrifyingly truthful way. I found a sheer beauty painted in the intimacy and ugly truth of each first person point of view presented. This a film that transcends traditional filmmaking and forces us to look deeper into our own relationships and our own self worth. A beautiful film that exposes the hidden truths about abuse and it's many disguises. Watch it, then watch it again."
-Premstar Santana, Moonfaze Feminist Film Journal
The non-linear narrative of this experimental ‘docudrama’ follows the filmmaker (Jamie) performing a re-enactment of their time in an abusive relationship, viewed from the POV of their abuser, friends and loved ones. Each of these characters view a different construction of Jamie: Jamie as a sex object, Jamie pretending to be in a happy relationship, and Jamie verbally, physically and mentally affected by the abuser and events of the relationship. The film shifts the visual focus away from the abuser and focuses on the victim for the entire duration of the film, allowing the audience to directly observe the ramifications and effects of abuse.
A note from the filmmaker:
Much like Barry Jenkins’ comments about why he made Moonlight, I made this film because I had never seen two queer people that weren’t women in an abusive relationship in any visual media format. Having experienced this in real life, I always found it frustrating that conversations about rape and sexual violence tend to be gendered in a very specific way and missed the point that rape is about abuse of power and is an act that sadly transcends gender and sexuality. I wanted to address an underrepresented narrative and speak about it from a personal, authentic perspective, hoping to establish an emotional connection with the audience in order to get them to relate to a topic that doesn’t get much if any mainstream media attention. With the rise of the #MeToo campaign, I thought now is the perfect time for us all to speak of our personal experiences with abuse to show it is a universal issue that needs to be addressed.
-Filmmaker, Jamie Jankovic