Directed by Alma Har'el
From an Alaskan strip club, a Hawaiian island, and the streets of NYC—revelatory stories emerge about a deeper definition of love.
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★★★★★ review by Braydan Hogue on Letterboxd
I'm in love with this doc, and it may be because I sat and talked with the director for a half hour as she waited for her uber.
★★★½ review by aar☭n on Letterboxd
I have never wanted to be more in love. I have never wanted to be more out of love.
★★★★ review by Adam Patterson on Letterboxd
After falling in love with Alma Har’el’s striking 2011 documentary Bombay Beach, I was naturally quite anxious and excited to learn her next feature, Lovetrue, has been finished and would be premiering at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Thankfully, Har’el has once again proven she has a unique vision within the documentary world, injecting some much-needed style into a genre that I feel is oversaturated and overwrought with the same stories told over and over.
Lovetrue, like Bombay Beach is a cinematic slice-of-life documentary, but instead of focusing on one specific location, this time Har’el tackles one specific theme, love, by following the lives of three individuals experiencing different shades of our strongest emotion. While the people and locations couldn’t be further apart from one another: a teenage street singer in New York City, an exotic dancer in Alaska and a surfer in Hawaii, they all experience similar trials and tribulations in their attempt to find happiness.
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★★★½ review by George Crosthwait on Letterboxd
Lovetrue attempts to reveal affective truth through performance and reconstruction. Whilst it doesn't use this technique as effectively as Little Dieter Needs to Fly or The Act of Killing, there is poetry in its words, speech, sound and imagery. It has a lot of twists up its sleeve, which felt out of place to me, considering it's practically an essay film.
It reminded me to an extent of Anocha Suwichakornpong's By The Time It Gets Dark. In BTTIGD the director attempts to make a fictional film about a historical massacre, gives up, and the film descends in increasingly impressionistic fragments of sound and image.
★★★★ review by Orla Smith on Letterboxd
You know when you watch a film, and you realise it's about to end, and the wish that it would keep going is so strong it hurts?
Watching a film talked about as little as this one is always a leap of faith. I've done it many times before, sometimes resulting in a pleasant surprise, sometimes an hour and a half wasted. LoveTrue is the former and then some.
This review will just be a plea for more people to watch it. I can see myself in 12 months calling this one of the best films of the year and lamenting the fact that nobody saw it, so you can be a part of making that less true. This impressionistic documentary blends non-fiction with performance is such a seamless, beautiful sensory way. Its scope is both wide and intimate, expanding the frame with visual possibilities yet focusing on the faces of people.
The subjects are fascinating people living small lives full of sadness and hope. It IS a film about love, only a realisation that true love is not what you'd hoped. Not a depressing realisation, but a hopeful coming to terms with that fact.
Alma Har'el is such a talent. I can see her doing big things if she was given a narrative feature, but even if she just sticks to making docs as heartbreaking, heartwarming and true as this one I'll be fine with that.
(Wrote a review here: www.humblecookie.org/2017/02/16/lovetrue-review-experimental-doc-destined-one-2017s-greatest/ )
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