2nd of January 2018
You asked me why I wanted to follow you around.
When we met you were reevaluating everything that was important to you and I wanted, if at all possible, to be there and try and put your state of mind across. You were in an isolated place. Not necessarily lonely I would say but because you were trying to figure things out, your identity was somewhat compromised.
I wanted to look at someone when they didn’t want to be looked at. I wanted to see someone’s intimacy.
Those moments, I think, are very relatable to people. When someone is feeling the way you were feeling, they become very private. Because everyone needs to figure things out for themselves. No one else can help with that. Choosing how to live your life? You are on your own with that.
I wanted to spend time with someone in a situation like that. Because in real life you can’t. These moments are hidden. We put on a mask for others and it is only when we are alone that that mask comes off and our thoughts and worries show.
With a film you can create a scenario which let’s you participate.
I wanted to capture something which you cannot capture with your bare eyes. You need the distance of a camera to get close if that makes sense.
I was able to look in; peak through your window and into your life. To see how you spent your days. How you came to the decisions you came to. At the time I thought maybe you felt your life needed a shake up.
I remember you saying: “I’m going to look like a tit! Have you seen people’s faces when they are thinking and unhappy?” I could understand why you were worrying about that but you let me film you anyway and sure as shit you didn’t look like a tit.
In you, I could also see many different powers, features, attributes. Some you wanted to reveal more than others. I think some you were afraid to let out. But maybe you thought if not now then when? Was that it? Try and see what happens when things shake?
Your insecurity or curiousness about where to take things, what and who you wanted to engage with I think with all that you ended up in a fight between you and you. One voice is telling you one thing and another something different.
In the end you figured out what is most important for you and I thank you that you let me be there with you when you did.
I think the title we chose is very fitting. I normally struggle with titles for my films but this one felt easy. You can read A‑N‑N‑A left to right or right to left. “It’s a palindrome” I can hear you tell me. Yes. Or how I would say: Left to right or right to left.
This fits your quest to try out different things I think. Be different people. Explore. Do it back to front? Turn left or right? Yes! It doesn’t matter. Let’s do both!
A friend of mine recently got into the habit or tattooing himself. He sent me his latest one last week. He’d tattooed the word Never onto his foot and then immediately crossed it out. Then underneath it he put Again!
I think that was you maybe in those few weeks.
I know it wasn’t about going wild because you felt you had to make up for anything. It was never that.
You were just a girl interrupted. Lost a little bit on your way and in need of some direction. A vagabond. Going for a walk without knowing where you wanted to, or would, end up.
The title I am Anna does something else which sums up the whole experience for me. The way I filmed you and the way I chose to tell your story. It gives out a simple message I think.
It says: “I am this. Anna. That's it.” Nothing flamboyant. No change the world kind of stuff. True, Direct. Open.
Simply Hey, this is me.
I know that was important to you. I remember having to talk you into this a little. You were afraid no one would care. Your story is something ordinary. Something everyone knows and nothing new. And I said that that was the reason I thought it would be interesting to do the film. To see something you are familiar with but to be able to really look at it.
I can understand your doubts though. I had the same when I decided how to approach this film. I wanted to keep it simple. Maybe simple isn’t the right word. Honest. No trickery. Just you. That was the easiest and most effective way of telling people about you I thought.
Some people get bored by things being too simple or minimalistic. If it’s too ordinary it is not interesting. I respect that but I don’t feel the same way. There is beauty in simplicity. I like things straight forward. Real.
Like Minor Threat I guess…
If someone says “This is me. I don’t think I am anything special but I have this to say…” or “I feel this way…” how can you not listen?
That’s you Anna. That’s why you deserve a voice.
I want to thank you, Anna. All this, I would have never been able to explore if you hadn’t let me follow you. I very much enjoyed the time I spent with you for all those reasons I mentioned. It was a privilege. I appreciate your openness and trust tremendously. I hope I did it in a way that you can be proud of it too.