Older generations might say that Zoomers and Millennials exhibit a bizarre syndrome called detachment, while they obsessively seek attachment. Isidore Bethel fits perfectly into this contradiction. His film, Acts of Love (co-written and co-directed by Francis Leplay) explores these two opposing forces.
Riddled with a detached kind of grief after a toxic relationship, Isidore decides to recruit new lovers through dating apps. He does this partly to shoot a film, but also to seek comfort and revenge on his ex.
What initially feels like a series of very random still images eventually ties the loosely strung events together. Our central Millennial is distraught, confused, lacks direction, implies he wants to go with the flow but in fact often wimps out when things get real. His mom thinks his project is narcissistic and that nobody will watch a movie about his sexual misencounters. And yet, it is the very nature of his quest. He is exploring his own feelings. Would that be anything other than self-referencing?
Along the way, we see that he is not the only one struggling. He meets other Milennials with similar detachment-attachment issues. But what’s even more interesting, is that his much older lovers appear to be in the same headspace. This raises questions about people in general. Is it everyone? Maybe we are all suffering the same syndrome in an era where technology pushes us apart at the same time as it brings us together.
Acts of Love:
RIDM – On Demand, November 18th to November 21st, 2021