I Send You This Place: Film Review
Andrea Sisson and Pete Oh's documentary interweaves scenic views of Iceland with poetic meditations on mental illness.
“I’m done with Iceland. I’m sick of wearing sweaters,” complains Andrea Sisson, the central figure of I Send You This Place. And despite the gorgeous beauty of that country’s natural wonders, viewers of this arty, experimental documentary will come to feel the same way long before its conclusion. The film is currently receiving a U.S. theatrical premiere at NYC’s reRun Theater.
Co-directed by Sisson with her husband, Pete Ohs, the film is inspired by her (unseen) brother Jake’s mental illness, into which she apparently felt she could find insight by traipsing around Iceland while delivering pseudo-poetic ruminations on the order of “this wind will change the way you think” and “intuition is a tool.”
Divided into chapters featuring headings like “Come Clean With Me,” which literally depicts her taking a shower, the film is a patience-testing, rambling visual and audio meditation in which we see the wide-eyed Sisson, often inexplicably wearing large headphones, engaging in such activities as kissing ice formations, standing in symbolically meaningful doorways and frenziedly dancing until she falls down.
Occasionally she exits camera range to allow room for sequences depicting the country’s gorgeous wintry vistas or showcasing a group of small children playing in mud.
Straining to make points about the nature of mental illness and featuring cutesy line-drawing animation, I Send You This Place is mainly interesting for its travelogue-like views of its cinematically underexposed locations. If nothing else, the film will please the executives of the Iceland tourist board.
Opens: Friday, June 7 (IFP Filmmaker)
Directors/producers/directors of photography/editors/composers: Andrea Sisson, Pete Ohs
Production designer: Andrea Sisson
Not rated, 68 min