Last night I had the pleasure of viewing a documentary film called Fortunate Son at the Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinema.
Generally, I miss out on this type of thing. I am a self-professed hermit and even though I love events like this, I'm also lazy and crowd-phobic, so I usually skip them. I know, I suck. However, this film was made by the husband of a friend, and I felt like I really really wanted to be there to support them.
The film is beautiful - I know he will do well with it, so if you happen upon a viewing of it, you have to see it. It is moving, poignant, thoughtful...just everything you want a documentary about a family to be, but that they rarely are.
Anyway, I left the theatre feeling the way I always do when I see a really great piece of art. Inspired, and also disappointed. People I know are doing beautiful, fantastic things, and I cannot seem to get it together. BUT, and this is a big BUT and revelation to me, his film made me realize one of the reasons so many of my projects stall.
I am terrified of offending anyone.
The whole time I was watching this amazing film about Tony and his relationships with the people around him, I felt my insides cringe for him - for putting it all out there, the beautiful moments and the ugly ones, even though it could hurt the feelings of the people in the film.
I know I write fiction, but I have realized that I am completely preoccupied by writing characters that are not too similar to people I know, or scenes that are not to familiar, for fear that someone will think they see themselves in it and get upset. Does this make sense? And this quasi-obsession generally ends in me abandoning the project because I don't feel invested in it anymore - it doesn't feel authentic or honest.
So I'm going to work on it. And hopefully it will help me move forward.