I Lost Myself When I Found You

Directed by
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A young woman recalls a recent abusive relationship in this eerie experimental drama by the sea.

Chelsea Muscat is a queer filmmaker originally born and raised on the island of Gozo in Malta. This is her film to process all that she went through and find some kind of peace of mind. Chelsea's quote below explains the film more than we ever could...

Muscat 'My first ever relationship was very abusive but it took me so long to realize and process this. Maybe a total of five years. I was very young at the time only 17 and was just excited to finally have a queer relationship. Although I grew up in NYC and everyone was so accepting it still felt really isolating and hard to meet other queer people. I was also closeted and didn't really have much of a family so I had no idea what love should look like or be.

I didn't realize that being yelled at for the most minuscule things wasn't normal and for someone to withhold affection or to see me or blame me for the most unrelated things wasn't love. My mom is mentally ill so I grew up around that kind of behavior, being randomly blamed for things that had nothing to do with me so I didn't know I deserved better. During this period I think I had PTSD and was just very delusional. I became obsessed with the existential and escapism, constantly wanting to run away into nature and away from people. I'm pretty sure at some point I became so detached from real life and earth that I thought I was some kind of higher being.

In retrospect, it was my way of coping and escape the harsh reality I was in. For 2/3 years I would run away back to Malta and spend months alone by the sea. Walking, reading, living in the clouds. I was obsessed with shooting myself in nature scenes, I would get a deep sense of fear and anxiety if I didn't, almost like I needed to document things. I just felt deeply unable to belong to the world or to connect with people. Because I was so deep into the abuse and manipulation I couldn't gain clarity. I had lost myself and became a hollow body of my partner's fears, insecurities, and anger which is where the title comes from. I felt all these intense things that I couldn't pinpoint.  

I tried making this film for 3 years with no luck but I was only able to actually do it once the relationship ended and I was able to fully realize what had happened. Before I just believed I was a really depressed/suicidal person and felt a transcendental connection with nature and never made the correlation to those feelings to the way my partner made me feel so worthless. The original title was also called something like an internal odyssey of an existential extraterrestrial. I was always so grand and immense. Once I finished the film, and came to terms with the relationship I no longer had this intense urge to document everything, to shoot myself constantly. I could finally start enjoying life and slowly let go.'


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