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Flames: A Documentary About Bringing Real Love to Life

Beginning with a relationship in full bloom, Flames is an intimate, charming, and vulnerable film that periodically, and unpredictably, revisits its leads (and directorial duo) Zefrey Throwell, Josephine Decker throughout different periods in their tumultuous relationship.

Flames is a true genre-bender as it artistically melds documentary with a semi-scripted romantic drama. Throughout the five-year span of filming, Flames attempts to bring love to life by retaining the authenticity within the vibrant and violent swinging realities of an imperfect relationship.

Balancing beautifully crafted montages and transitions with extreme and unwavering moments of extended intimacy, anger, failure, and love, Flames is a visual and emotional jazz. One moment the audience is in bed with the couple as they laugh and discuss their future, and the next they’re subjected to an argument in an airport with the couple struggling against the urge to slap each other.

As their relationship evolves, so does the story as the film develops a narrative examination on the effect of art on the subject. Progressively, the lines begin to blur as the two are strained and forced to evolve or break under the stress of a relationship that is both real and a piece of art.

After the film, the audience had a chance to interact with one of the directors, Zefrey Throwell, who discussed the inspirations for the film and the difficulties raised by an experience that took most of a decade. Of these trials he said, “It was a terrible idea but Josephine and I were both pretty dedicated to the terrible idea.”

By Tom Berry