[SXSW Review] SEE YOU THEN
SEE YOU THEN l Courtesy of SXSW
Films that are capable of being fully honest are rarer than you would think. Films are meant to have heroes and villains, messages and morals, and endings that satisfy. We expect these things from our films, but it’s so rare that life is as meticulously curated. A film that allows itself to be a wild tangle and honest to the point of being both illuminating and unflattering is a unique experience. It’s this honesty that makes SEE YOU THEN so arresting.

SEE YOU THEN brings together Naomi, a young artist and mother, and Kris, a transgender woman, nearly a decade after Kris abruptly broke up with Naomi. Kris invites Naomi to a dinner to catch-up on all that has passed over the last ten years from their prior relationship, to Kris’s transition and Naomi’s marriage and motherhood. Over the course of the evening, pleasantries turn into vulnerable conversations that give way to shocking realizations.

The film will feature in the 2021 SXSW Film Festival’s Narrative Spotlight, fitting in seamlessly with the festival’s reputation for showcasing bold and innovative storytelling. SEE YOU THEN stars Pooya Mohseni and Lynn Chen is helmed by writer Kristen Uno and writer/director Mari Walker.

SEE YOU THEN is thoroughly rooted in womanhood. Womanhood as a state one is born into, a mantle that is accepted through calling, and as an experience that can only be fully understood by those that exist within it. This is a story that could only be told by women and it is a film that quite effectively speaks to the experiences in womanhood that both unify women and challenge individual notions of womanhood. That’s a tough balance to strike and the film accomplishes this beautifully.

Deftly, through intimate conversations, SEE YOU THEN unpacks the full spectrum of what women experience. The film strips down and examines topics of harassment, women in the workplace, sex and flirtation, how women experience their bodies, and the warring ideals that are at work within women. It’s a challenging piece, and its like does not come around often.

The gender commentary of SEE YOU THEN is made possible through the excellent writing and equally compelling performances of the cast. This is a film built on intimacy and vulnerability, it’s dialed in and focused. Mohseni and Chen are so arresting and so fascinating to watch. What they do with the material is more than worthy of the privilege of the viewer’s time. Well done.

SEE YOU THEN is an actor’s piece built on a foundation of thoughtful writing and a fascinating unpacking of gender. It’s heart-wrenching and vulnerable and tragically beautiful. SEE YOU THEN is not just grounded, it’s rooted in power. A fascinating meditation on womanhood, the self, and relationships.

SEE YOU THEN enjoyed its World Premiere at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival on March 16, 2021

Caitlin Kennedy
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