The Opposite of Loneliness
In The Opposite of Loneliness, the filmmaker explores their video archive of family and friends since the beginning of the Covid19 pandemic.The film uses the poetic, observational and reflexive modes of documentary filmmaking to evoke consciousness itself. This leads to a complex witnessing of intergenerational trauma, mental illness, and grief but also the stories we tell ourselves to overcome them. Grief is nonlinear and therefore the narrative and plot structure will be nonlinear. Intergenerational trauma is tied to religion is tied to queerness is tied to family is tied to video games is tied to climate change is tied to love is tied to death. The filmmaker is the queer daughter of a Southern Baptist minister and the film’s reflexivity will subtly examine the complicated relationship between her and her family. Animal Crossing is essential to exploring the filmmaker’s relationship with her mother, a Mississippi public school teacher. While her mother believes in heaven and hell, the filmmaker only believes in oblivion after death. This is one of the central tensions: whether it’s queerness, christianity, Mississippi or Covid–there is no meeting point for them to find each other after death, and in life–with all their differences–it is difficult. But at least they can send each other love letters in a handheld video game.
Bethany Fitts is a writer and filmmaker from north Mississippi. She makes disjointed and genrebending films that explore themes of existentialism, horror, intimacy, queerness and connection. Rather than discovering answers, her work is interested in unearthing questions, especially as they relate to intergenerational trauma in the South. She is currently an MFA student in Documentary Expression at the University of Mississippi. You can find her watching anime with her cat Nami or playing Animal Crossing.