Editors are often cast as the psychotherapists of the film industry. The director brings not only a story but also their talent, dreams, and neuroses into he editing room, where the editor engages with them in a cathartic process that results in a film. But what happens when it’s the editor on the couch? Or even two editors? In Little Ethiopia: Chez nous, Joe Bini and Maya Daisy Hawke, both veteran editors, invite you into their home as they confront their own relationship catharsis. What ensues is a live cinematic dialogue that uses personal videos, photographs, and repurposed films they have edited in the past with directors like Werner Herzog and Lynne Ramsay.
The performance takes its title from the eponymous residential area of Los Angeles where the couple used to live—imbuing it with a mythical feeling, like Twin Peaks and Mulholland Drive. We follow the open-ended editing process as it happens. Conflicting perspectives normally patched over in the editing room are revealed to us. In contrast to a film, which at a certain point is deemed finished and gets “locked,” this story keeps on developing. Like life itself, the edit remains endlessly open to change.