Image from the motion picture You Are Not I Image from the motion picture You Are Not I

On the Bowery: Lost and Found Films of Sara Driver - You Are Not I

Drama | 1981 | 50MIN


Sara Driver


Suzanne Fletcher
Evelyn Smith
Lucy Sante

Based on a short story by Paul Bowles, You are not I was named one of the best films of 1981 by the Cahiers du Cinema. Shortly after, the film burned up in a fire and was lost, until, in a Passion of Joan– style recovery, was discovered amongst Bowles belongings in Tangiers and screened for the first time in over 20 years in 2010. You Are Not I follows Ethyl, (Susan Fletcher) an escaped schizophrenic, as she stumbles upon the aftermath of a terrible accident. With the coupling of Fletcher’s starched-white dress and the grainy black and white film, You Are Not I is unsettling and immersive. Ethyl opens the mouths of the dead, who have been lined up neatly on a slope of hill, and meticulously places stones in their mouths, leaving their heads uncovered and mouths agape. She rides in the back of a car alongside another tortured victim, her silhouette strangled in backlight, counting antiquated roadside service stations and tallying them in a journal. Experiencing You Are Not I is akin to waking from an eerie dream you can’t quite remember, but that’s potent enough to loiter in your psyche. The film is absent of score, aside from Fletcher’s buttery, sedated voice. In close up, her blackened eyes mesmerize; uninhibited, and her jumbled mind suddenly make sense as she sees things backwards, forwards, and upside down. In some ways like Theodore Dreyer’s Joan, You Are Not I arrives at catharsis with little action and dialogue. – Mary Hanlon

screens with:

Keep It for Yourself (Denis, 1991, 40MIN)

A long-unseen New York story from a contemporary master, with a French woman in a foreign city, a stolen car and an unexpected romance.

Q&A with Sara Driver following screening.

Portrait of filmmaker Sara Driver

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Q&A with Sara Driver

Filmmaker Sara Driver joins us at the Roxy Cinema for a post-film Q&A concerning her 1981 film You Are Not I

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