Locarno review: I’m The Only One I Wanna See (2022)

Pardi di Domani
National Competition

Screenshot from Lucia Martinez Garcia’s short ‘I’m the Only One I Wanna See’

Twenty-two years into the 21st century, we are still protesting the same shit. One would think that the events leading to the #metoo movement have contributed to major improvements in regard to female rights, but after a number of western countries had embraced the bible instead of reason and empathy to bring positive changes to the table, we can just shake our heads and admit that the road to breaking the patriarchy is very, very long.

It is quite shocking that, despite of all talk about ‘my body, my decision’, eliminating (or at least decreasing) the gender pay gap, fighting the sexual harassement, and providing equal rights to career chances, or, for instance, more balance in child care responsibilities, women still have to fight for their basic right to be left at peace and to stopped being cat-called, groped, sexually assaulted and insulted for not wanting any of it.

Wear this, wear that, look down, don’t answer back, smile, keep your keys in such a way that you can use them as knuckle dusters, don’t park your car in dark alleys, keep an eye on your drink in the bar, be humble. None of it has ever saved a woman from being harassed.

How does that constant preassure of being alert influence women? How do we see ourselves in the mirror? Can we see ourselves at all, or is the image in the mirror just a distorted shape of what we believe to be?

Lucia Martinez Garcia’s entry to the national section of Pardi di domani shorts competition at Locarno, I’m the Only One I Wanna See, makes a strong point on the state of things in the world today. Women never really stopped being targeted, attacked, stoked, harassed and cat-called for no reason other than being at a certain place (not necessarily even physically present) at a certain time.

A woman dances in front of three juxtaposed mirrors. As the volume gets pumped up, the cat-calling comments from off-screen also get more and more intense. Is she alone or somebody observes her from a hidden place?

Garcia has made a verbal collage of experiences gathered from her friends, aquaintances and family members, who are, if not always expressed in exactly the same terminology, identical in their actual meaning, more of the societal than linguistic nature.

The point is made strong in her short film, so short that it could be seen as an elevated music video, complete with the processed voice-over, amateur-grade footage slightly drained of colour, minimal production- and costume design. The camera of Pauline Doméjean is focused on the actrice/performer Léo Chalié who choreographed the dance, Garcia’s own editing is suitably rapid, Andreas Lumineau’s sound design blends the music and the narration in a compelling whole, and I’m the Only One I Wanna See rises to the level of a very artful, not just powerful political statement.

Year: 2022’
Runtime: 6’
Country: Switzerland
Language: English
Directed by: Lucia Martinez Garcia
Written by: Lucia Martinez Garcia
Cast: Léo Chalié, Cléo Frachebourg (voice)
Cinematography by: Pauline Doméjean
Editing by: Lucia Martinez Garcia
Music by: Andreas Lumineau, Sandar Tun Tun
Sound design by: Andreas Lumineau
Production design by: Surya David White
Costume design by: Blanca Bianchi, Sara Maria Perilli
Make-up by: Oldie Mbanie
Produced by: Lucia Martinez Garcia