Reel Reviews | See You Then (Nashville Film Fest ’21)

by Charles Kirkland Jr.

A decade after abruptly breaking up with Naomi, Kris invites her to dinner to catch up on their complicated lives, changes, and the effect of one action, Kris’ transition in See You Then.

After over ten years apart, Naomi and Kris, who were once young, lovers reunite at a scheduled date in a bar.  Kris’ intention is to reconnect and apologize for the abrupt end to their relationship.  Naomi’s intention is to hear Kris out and continue to move on with her life.  At the center of all of the night is Kris’ transition to a woman and how her new life has affected their old one.  As the evening progresses, both of them find out that the road to reconciliation between the two of them is a rocky, emotional, and almost impossible journey.

See You Then is written by Kristen Uno and Mari Walker.  It stars Pooya Mohseni and Lynn Chen.  Mari Walker also directs this film.  It is her first feature-length directorial effort.  This film feels like a very personal story for Walker who is a transwoman.

Walker’s story is a little on the meandering side.  The conversations feel genuine enough and the performances by Mohseni (also a real transwoman) and Chen are honest and realistic.  But the journey is a bit convoluted and protracted.  To her credit, for all the discussions and arguments, Naomi and Kris are equals.  They both have pain. They both have anger.  Neither one is totally right.  Neither is totally wrong.

When the two are being cordial to each other, there is a weird uneasiness between them.  It is in the confrontation that the story exists.  The lives of each of the principals have to be woven back together before they can be separated and the two can attempt to heal.  Naomi is a professor and married mother who has given up on her career as a performance artist because of a lack of inspiration.  Kris is a computer programmer who has had a hard time adjusting to being a woman and has been involved in only one romantic relationship since her transition.  Yet each of them finds that they need to have this discussion to overcome.

See You Then is unrated and premiered at SXSW and has shown at several festivals including FilmOut and L.A. Outfest where Pooya Mohseni won awards for her acting performance.  It is a brutal and honest look at the effects the lack of conversation and openness can cause in a relationship.

Grade:  B

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