Directed and Edited by Stacey Maltin, Jones is a short independent film inspired by Margarita Zhitnikova‘s personal struggles with alcoholism. It tells a story of fighting demons and trying to find the ‘you’ beneath a different character, one that any of us can create given the right, or wrong, fuel and situation.
Written by Zhitnikova, who also stars in the lead role of Jones, this project was made in Brooklyn with a mostly female crew and is well crafted, produced to a high quality and a more than competently portrayed story of Jones’ fight against herself, as she tries to stop the fall into the endless nothingness.
While we do go ‘along’ with her on the journey, from watching her not admitting she has an issue with alcohol, right through to joining a rehab group and getting positive and literal support, we’re also witness to how difficult it can be just being by yourself, trying to stay clear from what’s bad for you – even when you start making those better choices in your life.
Of course, with those types of moments, there also comes even darker times and a flip-back to where you’ve been trying to escape from but Jones finds this balance impressively. It’s very easy to watch, but I would have happily watched a slight expansion of her story, maybe with quicker cuts later on, to show the relapse and the recovery – which I have to assume was a constant struggle.
Jones is a strong short though, make no mistake, formed in a somewhat representative way of not always knowing where she is, I enjoyed being thrown back and forth with the story because it makes you feel a part of the character. Too many stories try to force you to like or dislike characters, they don’t here and because of this, it’s one to watch and decide for yourself, they make it feel as if it could be you, or someone you know and – always sadly – it probably is someone you’ve known or do. Compelling work indeed, I look forward to more!