Film review: LoveTrue needs to be seen

This film choked me.

Three real people scattered across the U.S. open their hearts and tell us about their love.

Alma Har’el, the filmmaker behind LoveTrue builds such trust with her subjects. They throw themselves into such a vulnerable position. They not only let their guards down, they put their hearts in the filmmaker’s hand. Alma could SERIOUSLY hurt these people.

There’s opportunities to create big turns, to twist and manipulate moments into drama, and use them to neatly zero into theme.

But Alma doesn’t do that. She takes care of them.

Because that’s love. Truly opening up to someone, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, opening yourself up to so much possible hurt. And the film is all the better for it.

It is a privilege to witness a relationship this intimate between filmmaker and subject. Between storyteller and storyteller. The subjects open up their world, so Alma opens her world to them in return.

The filmmaker blurs documentary with performance art, shifting anecdote into image. Small memories and moments in the pasts of these subjects are constructed into dreamlike scenes. A traumatic bus ride as a child. A thought of violence towards someone who betrayed you. A confession to a loved one, knowing that the outcome won’t change no matter how you recreate it.

Alma gets the subjects to talk to themselves from their pasts and futures. A mixture of first time actors stand in for the subjects throughout life. Children with childlike understandings of love say what’s in their heads, making everything seem so simple. Older versions of the subjects, real people, ghosts of their futures talk with them, understanding that everything is in fact simple, but human nature is what makes things complicated.

This is a film that shows a window into true love. The sheer journey of it.

These three share honest hearts, they can experience love because they open themselves up to it. It’s not a sense of destiny, where a happy ending awaits, but an emotional step of immense mutual trust that is forever, even if your relationship isn’t.

Love is human; Not spiritual.

I’ve never been in the position to take that step. I’m too guarded. I’ve never been in love and I’ve never allowed myself to be vulnerable enough to be loved by others.

Allowing this would make my films better, being truly honest for once. And it would open myself up to scrutiny, to pain, to humiliation.

In the meantime, you should see this film.

Riley James


Review by Riley James.