CZ, SK

In development

I'm Not Everything I Want to Be

Ještě nejsem, kým chci být

A naked 68-year-old woman takes pictures of her reflection in a mirror. We’re watching something that keeps repeating in her life for the last fifty years. We see her pictures from different times and places, in various situations and frames of mind. She intimately captures her whole life full of twists and turns.
Today her exhibitions and books are among the most significant cultural events both at home and abroad. Nevertheless, Libuše Jarcovjáková is at the age of 68 still searching for herself, the place where she belongs, through her photographs. This was true when she took raw photos in the late 70’s in Czechoslovakia, and it is still true today, as she goes through piles of negatives while working on a new book.
Her story begins in normalisation-era Prague, when she sets off, with her camera, on a journey around islands of “freedom”. She heads off for a night shift in a printing house, to spit-and-sawdust pubs, among exotic Vietnamese, Cubans, Roma, into the night streets of the city. Nudity, sex, alcohol, but also boredom and the straitjacket of normalisation.
Her personal journey of emancipation, search for her own sexual identity captured on thousands of photos, is interrupted by a murder. As the Czechoslovak police take an interest in her photographs from a semi-legal gay club, Libuše decides to enter into a sham marriage and flees to Berlin. The new world is full of obstacles. After a car accident, she ends up in a hospital. For the last money she flies to Tokyo, where she then miraculously breaks through as a fashion photographer. But it’s not the life she wants to live. She returns to Berlin, and after the fall of the Iron Curtain, heads back to Prague.
Meanwhile, she keeps a record of everyday struggle, identity exploration, corporeality, relationships, and emotions in her pics and journals. The evidence is tens of thousands of negatives, preserving the transformation of body and soul over decades. What is Libuše looking for beyond the mirror?
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