Self Made / Dir Gillian Wearing (2010)
“…a compelling exercise that deliberately blurs the lines between documentary and fiction. Artfully constructing and thought provoking.” – Leslie Felperin, Variety
Who are we and who do we think we are? How do we construct the person we present to the world? Who are we underneath the social masks we wear every day? These are some of the questions posed by Self Made, the thrilling debut feature by acclaimed British artist Gillian Wearing. A hybrid undertaking that is at once documentary, art work, and social experiment, Self Made brings together diverse members of the public and offers them the chance to discover themselves through performance. In 2007, Gillian Wearing placed an advert – in newspapers, online and in job centres. It read:
“Would you like to be in a film? You can play yourself or a fictional character. Call Gillian.”
Of the hundreds of people who replied, seven ended up appearing in Self Made. Of those seven, five in particular use the acting technique known as ‘Method’ to delve into their own memories, anxieties and fears. Wearing has made a film that poses pressing questions about individual identity, the way it functions in society, and the extent to which we all create our visible selves as a daily performance.
A Fly Film production, in association with Third Films, for UK Film Council, Northern Film & Media, in association with Arts Council England, Channel 4 Britdoc Foundation and Abandon Normal Devices.