Noelle Loizos' short film BUM encourages and empowers women to end the cycle of toxicity...
By Christina Schultz
I have, unfortunately, been in a handful of toxic relationships. There's no need to deny it or sugarcoat this fact. I am an emotional, empathetic person and have the tendency to be easily reeled in and not know when to call it quits, even if the relationship is toxic. The most frightening thing about such relationships perhaps is that the toxicity continues to build until both parties are engaging are unhealthy, manipulative behavior. Your perfectly normal needs and wants are denied and used against you. You almost can't remember that you are a normally functioning person of sound mind, that's how deep you are in this thing. Your judgement is clouded, your sense of self is destroyed, your emotions are askew - nothing in the toxic relationship happens as it should in a healthy one, and eventually the toxicity effects all aspects of your life.
The only thing to do is to end the relationship and move on with your life. This is generally easier said than done, but what if you were able to clearly envision the future with the toxic person? How would things look in one month, one year or even one decade from now if you stayed in the relationship? The future in those scenarios doesn't look too bright, in fact, it looks positively frightening. This is partly due to the fact that it takes clarity of mind to realize that one is in this dangerous kind of relationship and actually label your partner's behavior as abusive or violent. Even this realization can turn things from bad to worse. What might seem obvious to others has been obfuscated by this skewed sense of reality caused by the relationship that you initially might not be able to cope. But how can you look beyond the toxicity and the abuse to be able to identify that you are in such a relationship?
In the film BUM, the main character daydreams about what will happen to her if she says in her toxic relationship. The unhealthy patterns in the couple’s behavior and their conversations eventually wind up having an impact on other individuals and causes an unexpected tragedy. She tries to break the cycle of codependency on her boyfriend, which causes physical harm to herself and others. Her daydream finally empowers the female to leave the relationship and seek help. She is able to leave her partner before it is too late. But how often has domestic abuse and violence, either physically or mentally, gone unchecked until it is too late? Too often.
That is precisely what Noelle Loizos' film BUM aims to change. BUM is a vehicle for helping stop the cycle of toxicity, domestic abuse and violence by supporting and empowering the survivors. It is such an important film project and one that is (unfortunately) personally near to my heart.
According to Nolo Entertainment, the production company backing the film, all the producers of BUM support the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, just as we do at FemFilmFans. The producers "see this film as a means of tackling domestic violence at its roots. When they recognized societal trends dismissing toxic relationships, they felt a responsibility to bring this story to life for audiences around the world." The producers are also "proud to align with such groups in the fight against domestic violence and all things toxic" and have partnered up with LifeWire - a survivor-driven non-profit organization offering trauma informed services while promoting prevention through community-based training and coaching - showing their disclaimer at the end of the film to provide resources for those who need help. All profits made from the film will also be donated to LifeWire.
I therefore ask that you consider donating to the film's IndieGoGo campaign so they can add the finishing touches. If you need a few more reasons as to why this film is so important...