Bara Jichova Tyson’s hybrid documentary, Talking About Adultery, is a feature film essay told through candid interviews about intimate relationships, combined with collage-making, archival and abstract film footage, and her own love letters. The film explores the universal “our” hunger to find fulfillment through acts of committing to - and straying from - our partners, and how the secrets we keep - and the lies we tell - in our search for love and desire reveal who we are. It is also the story of Jichova Tyson’s own unexpected transformation, as she discovers her future partner through the process of making the film.
Talking About Adultery is a combination of 50 ethnographic interviews recorded over five years with lovers, husbands, wives, mistresses, and also participants in non-traditional, polyamorous relationships - anonymously filmed in New York, the Czech Republic, a vast cactus garden in Sicily, and the homes of the film’s subjects. Jichova Tyson creates a visual language which includes: live collage-making drawn from her original work as a fine artist; correspondence with her future partner; and the oblique but ultimately revealing perspective of an Italian philosopher of plants and gardens.
Talking About Adultery was an opportunity to create an intimate conversation among many people on the theme of trust and honesty, and create space for the viewers to continue those conversations. As an artist who grew up in the former socialist republic of Czechoslovakia and now lives in the United States, Jichova Tyson has long been interested in the possibility/impossibility of trust between people, and also the imaginary stories people tell themselves to justify how they live, who they are, and who they want to be. She understands relationships as being a constant reassembly of different parts—elements of personality, history, beliefs, values, culture, memory, experience, geography—all of which change.