Festival Premiere Berlin International Film Festival
Official Selection Jerusalem International Film Festival
Official Selection Chicago International Film Festival
Amie Siegel, Director
Combining fiction & documentary, Empathy explores the boundaries of intimacy between psychoanalysts and patients. Interviews with psychoanalysts are juxtaposed with the story of a fictional analysand and screen tests of actresses trying out for her role in Empathy. The film reverses the analytic gaze back onto the analyst, raising powerful questions about authority, role-playing, and understanding. Genres blur and collide; characters from the 'documentary' appear in the fictional space of the narrative, PBS television documentary is parodied in a 'film-within-a-film' essay on modernist architecture & psychoanalysis, exploding the conventions of interview, therapy and documentary filmmaking.
"As Lia, a voice-over performer in therapy, Gigi Buffington is a delight to watch in the hybrid documentary/drama "Empathy...Buffington's natural acting talents are a delight to watch in any context."
- Janice Page, Boston Globe
"The film flows with a certain grace and smoothness, due largely to the sense of psychic misery projected by a sweet actress, Gigi Buffington."
- New York Observer
"Buffington is very good in both roles..."
- Jack Matthews, New York Daily News
Official Jury Selection: 11th Annual LA Short Film Festival
Clayton Brown, Writer/Director
137 Films & IFP Chicago