Director Karen Bernstein imbues this documentary with empathy and understanding of one Man/Woman/Man’s journey to find themselves. I’m Gonna Make You Love Me could be labeled LBGTQ but anyone can understand the powerful journey of discovery held within.
Documentaries are one of the few places that a subject can be shown with more facets than just the singular totem politics of a given subject. It is no wonder that so many are drawn to the format and so many are repelled by it. I’m Gonna Make You Love Me could have been that if a biopic. One can see the way that the Studio System would have made it. It is our good fortune that Documentarian Karen Bernstein was given access to life and her subject Brian Belovitch. What she has created from Brian’s own words, and the words of his friends and family is a picture of Person in search of their identity and some time, oftentimes, painful events to get there.
Much of the beauty and power of the documentary comes from Belovitch’s recounting of his life done with a sobering amount of honesty with only the slightest amount of dry wit. The amount of personal footage and photographs that are included also helps provide an amazing grounding of context. Making even the most outlandish turn of events, like Tish Gervias’ (Belovitch) first marriage to an Army Sargent and her move to Germy, all the more real.
It is not the outlandish twists of fate that make I’m Gonna Make You Love Me worth watching, rather the heart and understanding that Belovitch’s voice gives the entire film. Bernstein allows the man to guide his own story, allowing him to literally create his narrative. Giving the final ten minutes such grace, understanding, and power back to a person whom society for large sections of their life either forgot, abused, or generally disenfranchised.
In 2020, we need more profiles done in this manner than in the infotainment style we have been getting for so long. Not to say there isn’t a place for infotainment. I’m Gonna Make You Love Me makes the case that we this type of documentary too.