2004, 94 min, 16mm
Robyn portrays the inner life of a writer unable to leave her New York apartment on the brink of the US invasion of Iraq. Robyn Taylor tries to kick her growing agoraphobia by re-imagining her past and contemplating world events of the present. As Robyn begins to overcome the amnesia that afflicted her as an adolescent, she fears coming down with "the amnesia of the American people".
As Robyn escapes into reveries of another time, an intricate film montage brings to life the friends, animals and places she once loved. The talking cure of psychoanalysis is evoked as Robyn voices her personal history, fantasies and observations with a wry sense of humor. As Robyn recounts her jump from a bridge, which left her with amnesia at the age of seventeen she muses, "the bridge wasn’t high enough". Recollections of her days in a mental institution seem to predetermine her present-day compulsion to lock her self indoors. And as Robyn becomes increasingly disconnected from the world, flashbacks of her childhood visit her for the first time. Finally, the horror of the US military "shock and awe" campaign brings to light the terrible cost of self-absorption and passivity, and shakes Robyn out of her self-made isolation.
Documentary material, scripted and improvised scenes are interwoven to create this hybrid film of true fiction. The deteriorated memories and frail beauty of Robyn’s inner world were shot in high-contrast B&W 16mm while scenes of her more confined present life are depicted in DVCAM. These complimentary visuals interact to illuminate a broader spectrum of Robyn’s experience of life, creating a personal story about phobia and coming to terms with the fragility of life in a world at war.