Short of the Day: ‘Residue of a Relationship’ Documents the Ramifications of Love

Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy makes film.
By  · Published on June 8th, 2017

Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy makes film.

Like most university students, when Brett Chapman graduated he wanted to blow off some steam, get out into the world, and discover himself. What he found instead, though, was love.

While on a European odyssey with a chum, Chapman met Ebba, a Swedish girl with whom he fell head over heels in love with. They traveled together and as they did, their bond grew more unique and meaningful. But when travel ended, so to faded some of the magic between them. Distance became a factor, and eventually what began as fireworks fizzled to embers.

But a love altered or even lost is not the same as a love that never was. For better or worse – often both – we are changed by the people we love, we emerge from each relationship we have different from how we entered it, and whether we like to admit it or not, the stamp of that other person will forever be imprinted upon us. The things they leave us, both emotionally and physically, become tools for self-examination. This is what Chapman calls the residue of a relationship, and it makes for a fitting title to the following film, a lovely video-diary kind of documentary that traces the rise and fall of Chapman’s relationship with Ebba, as well as the aftershocks and their effect on his persona and worldview.

Is Residue of a Relationship sentimental in parts? Yep. Is it schmaltzy in places? Of course. Is it alternatingly endearing and sappy? You know it is, because that’s how love is; it is also charming, sweet, and built on a foundation of longing and respect, just like Chapman’s film.

Every single person in the world can relate to what Chapman’s documenting, because regardless of the specifics, we have all loved someone we couldn’t quite have, even when we deserved them. How Chapman uses what he’s lost to discover more about himself and the conundrum of love is inspiring, endearing, honest, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful. This is a movie for everyone, so be sure to spread it around and share the love.

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Novelist, Screenwriter, Video Essayist