Thursday, May 15, 2008

Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Feminist Explores Self and Sisterhood in Soul-Baring Biopic

Jennifer Fox intermittently repeats the melancholy refrain “I never wanted to be a girl,” over the course of this soul-baring bio-pic, even though she seems to be doing just fine as a female. The 45 year-old, NYC filmmaker devotes the bulk of her intriguing documentary to introspective ruminations by her and her friends about their love relationships.
Suffering from low self-esteem in terms of her looks, Fox frequently refers to herself as “ugly” and a “tomboy,” and wonders aloud whether she’ll ever have kids or get married. But she is pleasant enough to watch, which is important, given that she’s in virtually every scene of this six-hour gabfest. She’s also intelligent, insightful, likable and brutally honest about the intimate details of her unconventional lifestyle, which makes her a rather worthwhile and compelling subject for cinematic examination.
Inter alia, the free-spirited feminist informs us of her ongoing affair with Kye, a 36 year-old, former freedom fighter from South Africa. She somehow doesn’t let it bother her that the guy lives half a world away and happens to have a spouse and kids. So, when she later falls for Patrick, she lets her new Swiss lover know that she can’t commit to monogamy, but plans to enjoy them both.
Broken up into six hour-long episodes, each installment of Flying has been cleverly constructed to end on a bit of a cliffhanger. Will she dump her adulterous, absentee beau for patient, present Patrick? Will she opt to overcome her ambivalence about motherhood when she not only hears her biological clock ticking but finds herself unexpectedly pregnant? And who’s the daddy? Will Kye’s wife’s learning of her existence put the kibosh on their lusty liaisons? All intriguing questions, and with some very surprising answers.
A real-life cross of Annie Hall and Erica Jong.

Excellent (4 stars)
Running time: 351 minutes
Distributor: Easy Film and Zohe Film Productions
2-Disc DVD Extras: Interview with star/director Jennifer Fox and a theatrical trailer.

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