Slamdance 2018: Ingrid (dir. Morrisa Maltz)

Ingrid Gipson; former Dallas fashion designer turned outsider artist on her property in Oklahoma. Still from the film.

Ingrid tells the fascinating story of Ingrid Gipson, a fashion designer who left the comforts of life in Texas and escaped into the woods of Oklahoma.

Directed by Morrisa Maltz, the documentary is just shy of an hour.  Among the eight films selected as a Documentary Feature, Ingrid was the only one to be solely directed by a female filmmaker.  This comes at a time in which it is so hard for the studios to hire women to direct films to the point that so many women go the independent route and make it on their own.  It’s unfortunate but that’s the sad reality in the industry today.

Living in Texas and working as a fashion designer, this woman decides to escape her life for the comfort of the woods in Oklahoma.  This includes running away from her family, children, and friends.  Yes, children–that one must sting a bit.

On being a fashion designer, Gipson called it a “life saver” and that she was “singularly focused to succeed in something that I had an interest in.”  But why anyone would just give it all up and live such a life this way is what Maltz aims to examine in only 51 minutes of film.  Rather than creating fashion, Gipson now creates clay sculptures and art out of the rocks that she finds at a creek close to her residence.

Living in the woods affords Gipson the opportunity to raise her own food even as she doesn’t like to kill what she eats and in the process of doing so, Gipson hopes that she never becomes “jaded.”  “This animal has the right to live as much as I do,” Gipson says as she, well, you get the idea.  This segment of the documentary is surely one part of the film that won’t play well for vegans or vegetarians so consider this a trigger warning right now.  Even for an omnivore such as myself, it’s tough to watch, let alone describe.

In under an hour’s length of time, Maltz is able to get at what drives a woman to leave a good job in the city and become a recluse in the woods. Because of Ingrid’s hermit life, there’s a cinema verite in the cinematography from Andrew Hajeck and Vanara Taing’s editing adds in a Malick-esque approach to the subject.

An official selection of the 2018 Slamdance Film Festival, Ingrid was selected as a Documentary Feature.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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