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Storyline (warning: spoilers)
What would you do if someone told you you'd make a great murderer? In the case of American
indie filmmaker Gillian Horvat, you make a film about it. Beginning its life as an actual
documentary and evolving very much into something more mockumentary shaped, Horvat
plays a fictional rendition of herself in this audacious pitch black comedy about identity,
ambition, and just how far over the edge fake feminist allies can push an unstable woman.
In I Blame Society, not only does Gillian (the character, not the filmmaker) decide to put the
suggestion that she'd be a good at murder to the test, she decides to make a film about it.
Beginning slowly, Gillian's range grows from home invasion to manslaughter to fully
premeditated first degree murder, all documented on film as she discusses how and why she is
doing what she does. Sitting in a balaclava in the home of an unknown woman whose suicide
she will fake, Gillian sips wine and tells us directly, that she truly now is "living her best life".
But if Gillian is unhinged, the world around her isn't much better, and it is here that the film's
provocative title begins to make sense. As a struggling filmmaker, Gillian finds her career largely
dependent upon men with more power than she who can choose to give her a break, or not.
Early in the film we find the latter is not rare; her women characters are not "likeable", and - as
her meetings with two of the most hilariously repulsive hip young film bros vividly bring to life -
there is little attempt to disguise that any interest in working with Gillian is merely a cynical PR
gimmick for the men to appear progressive. They want to say they support women filmmakers,
but have no interest in doing so; exploitation is the name of the game. Taking that lesson
literally, Gillian's murder spree documentary is bleak, hilarious, cutting and very, very shrewd.
While certainly not for everyone, in I Blame Society Horvat lampoons not just herself - quite
bravely putting herself in the starring role - but the entire culture that allows such an unhinged
and dangerous woman to not only justify her actions, but flourish doing so.