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Love Lives Short Documentary Film Review

★★★★★ Stars

Directed by: #BrettChapman

Written by: #BrettChapman

Nine individuals who appear in the documentary are placed in columns/rows to cover the entire background of the film poster. The title ‘Love Lives’ is written in bold, yellow text across the middle of the image.

“What does love mean to you?”

A simple definition of love can never be settled upon in this world powered by the strong emotion and motive. It is a subject that can be confusing and hurtful, but exciting and elegant – possibly all at the same time. Brett Chapman’s short documentary film, Love Lives, showcases how true that statement is as he talks with members of the public on their views and experiences of love in different forms and what that four letter word means to them.

The participants in this documentary appear to the audience joyfully as they stand in front of the camera ready to tell of the good and bad sides of love. There is a personal connection immediately established between them and the audience because of the topic being discussed, but also as the participants are truly open about their ideas and experiences on the topic. The wide range of perspectives shown through their answers create a beautiful sense of humanity between the viewer and the individuals speaking towards the lens.

Hollywood romance films project a somewhat imaginary idea of love. There are two extremes normally shown in this category of film; pure heartbreak or pure bliss – give or take a small number of films that manage to depict the concept of romantic love in a light that touches more with reality (e.g. the Before trilogy.) This documentary is a better choice to watch if you feel lost in a whirlwind of fantasy-like romance stories. The stories told in this short are raw and sincere, taken from real life experiences of such ‘heartbreak’ and ‘deep romance.’

Chapman incorporates the explanation of different types of love, intertwining questions regarding romantic love as well as the love and bond found in one’s children, closest friends and family members. I adore the exploration of this point; all types of love and affection are different but still somehow blur together, sometimes creating a mess of emotion in relationships if blurred so much. I adore the fact that I felt connected to the individuals speaking on the subject due to how truthful their personal anecdotes seemed to be and how their words run parallel to my own and many others surrounding us as a collective.

The cinematography (by Jordan Carroll and Brett Chapman) is beyond stunning, bringing a further extension onto the personal element of the created atmosphere. With minimalistic settings and still shots, a sense of intimacy and friendship can be felt between the crew and the participants, as well as from the seat of a viewer which is always a wonderful aspect to possess in any piece of film. Between shots of the participants and Chapman himself, there are added ‘home footage style’ videos depicting bright happiness and different underlying forms of love throughout many life stages – as a child playing with their father and soaring to early adulthood, laughing with friends and enjoying their company. All of the choices made by the camera crew, as well as when editing, perfectly blend together to create the most beautiful, and at some stages emotional, final product that has been released to the public.

Love truly does live in all of us. Maybe in small doses, maybe in large doses, but it is there and is forever existing in some type of configuration. It is a natural part of being human. As a person who is about to enter the early stages of adulthood and having not experienced many different forms of love so far, I really learnt a lot about the subject from this short documentary film.

Love Lives is simply magnificent, an engaging and heartfelt watch, it was difficult to bring out the film’s enchanting colours in writing as I was left in deep thought about the topic. I highly recommend this film to everyone from all walks of life; from all corners of the world.



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