I wont be posting this one to the screening room because of spoilers. I have no worries about posting it here though. As I said, spoilers.
Monday night at the MIFF was a documentary titled Three of Hearts: A post-modern family. In spite of the title, it was actually quite a good documentary. Possibly because it was filmed over 8 years and the participants who were friends with the documentary makers were remarkably honest and open.
Basically, two guys start a relationship while one is 19 and the other around 25 or so. The first, Steven, is easy going, gentle and self-effacing. The other, Sam, is extroverted, charming and wilful. Not long after they start going out, Sam decides that he would like to introduce a woman into their relationship. Eventually, after some persuasion, Steven decides to go along. Eventually they meet Samantha who after her own inital doubts is convinced by Sam also. After a brief period of adjustment, Steven and Samantha fall in love as well. Together the three start a health theraphy business and as their relationship thrives, it seems to thrive as well. Nine years later, they have their first child and it seems that life cannot be better for their family.
A couple of years later, thirteen years after the start of their relationship and just two days before the birth of their second child, Steven without any warning, tells Samantha and Sam that it is over and leaves. In the last half hour, the film documents the disintegration of each relationship, the growing bitterness between Samanatha and Sam towards Steven and the downgrading of Samantha and Sam’s relationship to that of companions and primary care givers to their children. Just before the credits, you’re informed that Samantha and Sam are taking Stephen to court over their shared business. At the end during the Q + A session with one of the producers, it seems that relations have become so bad that Samantha and Sam can no longer attend the same film festival sessions as Steven. It seems that everything they’ve shared together as a triad has crumbled away.
Fortunately, they appear to have kept the children out of their disputes, for now.
So what went wrong?
In the documentary, Steven keeps his feelings close but the few words he says on the subject seems to indicate that he wasnt ready for the responsibilities of two children and a settled down life. He’d entered the relationship at 19 and from all appearences, his relationship both at work and at home with the other two were so close that he must have started to understand in his early 30s that he had a fair amount of finding out who he actually was outside of the other two.
It seemed a pity to me that they couldnt have negotiated a leave of absence for Steven or opened up the relationship such that Steven could amicably live seperately for a while and pursue his own interests as a semi-single person. It seemed a pity that Stephen never considered that as a possibility and had to abandon everything.
Ok, perhaps a bit of overidentification here but there were scenes with Steven in it being an utter shit that I could recognise myself in from about ten years ago, where you have to be an asshole so that no matter what happens, you can never go back. Because going back will destroy the person that you’re trying to discover and at that point in time, it doesnt matter how much hurt you’re dealing out to others or yourself, the only thing that matters is that you become that new person. Birthing pains.
So, Steven Margolin, if that’s what was happening with you, then good on ya. You’ll not hear this from many who saw that film I dont think. I hope it was worth it and you found what you were looking for.