Taking the “personal film” to an extreme, Canadian auteur Ingrid Veninger’s “I Am a Good Person/I Am a Bad Person” is so sketchily drawn and obscure, it may be only the helmer herself who knows exactly what’s up, leaving even sympathetic observers out in the emotional cold. Veninger’s microbudget third feature will have difficulty mustering even minimal returns, given its anemic narrative and offhanded regard for its audience.Acclaimed for her second feature, “Modra,” Veninger used the European tour of that film as a backdrop for this follow-up, in which a filmmaker named Ruby White (Veninger) brings her unsuccessful movie before unresponsive festival audiences, painfully discovering what it was that drove her to make the movie in the first place. A brittle and alienating personality (which doesn’t make the film any more appealing), Ruby eventually drives her pregnant 18-year-old daughter, Sara (Veninger’s daughter, Halle Switzer), to split with her in Berlin. Sara continues on to Paris to figure out what to do about her baby. The outcome is predictable, the process too spare to earn much affection.
A Punk Films presentation. Produced, directed, written by Ingrid Veninger.
Camera (color, HD), Benjamin Lichty; editor, Chris Wiseman; costume designer, Hallie Switzer. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Vanguard), Sept. 15, 2011. Running time: 82 MIN.
Ingrid Veninger, Hallie Switzer, Simon Reynolds.