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Trailer Watch: LoveTrue, by Alma Har’el

Very high on my list of anticipated works at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival is LoveTrue, Alma Har’el’s follow-up to her stunning documentary, Bombay Beach. For her new hybrid doc, Har’el — a Filmmaker 25 New Face — has followed three very different couples whose behaviors challenge our expectations of what constitutes a love story. She’s also employed actors, who play her real-life subjects past and future selves. Har’el’s work is always provocative, soulful, and rich with stunning images and gorgeous music. Last year, I watched a short work-in-progress cut of this project, and interviewed Har’el. Here she is answering her question about her attraction to the subject of love:

The film is actually demystifying the fantasy of “True Love” and flipping it backwards in search of some true stories that show how our view of love changes as we grow older. There’s love in this world as a state of being and a state of grace, and then there’s romantic love, which can take you on a ride and show you all the inner workings of your hopes and dreams as well as your weaknesses and darkest moments. I wanted to make a film about that passage that calls for you to define love again and find love again once you got hurt by its complexity.

I grew up in a very loving home that was equally chaotic and dysfunctional. If you ask any member of my family to describe our life as a family, each one of us has a different story. So much so that some of us don’t talk to each other because they can’t agree on the reality of what happened. I started to look into love as a surviving mechanism in Bombay Beach, and in this film I tried to take another step into people’s heads who are going through a relationship that can’t fit easily into the fantasy of a “happy ending” scenario.

My parents who loved each other very much and were crazy romantic had a very turbulent relationship and separated and got back together all the time through my whole life. In the times that they were separated and my dad would come to visit, we had to meet outside the house so we would go to see movies with my little brother. One of them was Princess Bride which became a milestone in our house vocabulary. “As you wish” was “I love you.” I think the contrast between how I saw that film as a kid and dealing with my parents relationship and my own divorce in the past few years made me want to make this film.

Executive produced by Shia LaBeouf, LoveTrue premieres on Friday.

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