Wednesday, June 2, 2021

NewFest Pride Spotlight: See You Then

See You Then
Directed by Mari Walker
Ticket Information

The end of a relationship is usually very difficult for both parties, even if its dissolution isn’t a mutual decision. In order to readjust to life without a partner, time apart is often necessary. The tremendous closeness and intimacy that existed previously must be replaced by distance so that healing can begin. After a considerable amount of time has passed, it may be possible for two people who used to be together to see each other in a new way. It can be therapeutic or painful, especially if those who were once partners are now entirely different people.

Kris (Pooya Mohseni) has returned to her college town for the first time since transitioning. It has been more than a decade since her relationship with Naomi (Lynn Chen), who is now married with two children. They meet at a restaurant to talk about what they’ve done since they last saw each other and what now fills most of their days. Their conversations begin as pleasant and refreshing and slowly reach a more dramatic point as old wounds are once again opened up and the way their relationship ended threatens to derail any hope of a present-day friendship or even a sincere reconciliation.

This film is a marvelously intriguing two-hander, featuring a few faces that pop up over the course of Kris and Naomi’s night spent together but serve only to support the way in which they interact with each other. Who Kris used to be exists only in her memories and in Naomi’s, and in certain moments it feels like they are interacting as two new people, but it’s impossible for them to fully separate who they are now from who they were then. Naomi is a liberal, forward-thinking artist entirely open to who Kris has become, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t hold her accountable for what she did and how she acted when she was someone else.

Mohseni and Chen convey years of history in the way that they talk to each other, initially guarded and unsure of what to say and then easily able to slip back into old dynamics. What they discuss is both general and highly specific, unpacking the problems that society faces and applying them to what did or didn’t work about their relationship. It’s a riveting and deeply compelling portrait of two people who share many similar values and hold plenty of opinions that complicate who and how they’re able to be with each other.


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