What We Don’t Say

A disorienting New Year’s Eve party incites conflict between a young couple, who grapple with tensions from their past.

Director’s Vision

The seed of this story was planted in the early stages of my first “real” romantic relationship. As with most relationships, it took time for us to figure out how to navigate the social landscape as a couple. We found this process of discovery complicated. What was the right way to interact with old friends or exes? How was our relationship defined? How does monogamy function in today’s modern society, where all types of relationships are possible? Why aren’t these complications more visible in film?

As I began writing a script, I sought to evoke the emotional back and forth experience of arguing with a partner during a social event, where one can acutely feel the power of the gaze. Rather than focusing on one character, I wanted the relationship itself to be the protagonist and have the audience understand the experience of both partners through a shifting narrative perspective that sees the nuances of both race and gender. Through the use of tightly lensed, yet loose camerawork that follows the intimate physicality of the performances, and a strongly musical sonic landscape that highlights the emotions of the story, it is my goal for the audience to feel the psychological weight of this experience.