Video + Performance


I'm Telling On You (2010)
Single channel colour video
DV Tape transferred to DVD
12:00 min. 


In this short film, I interview my adoptive parents and sisters at home in Northern Ireland.  They refused to be filmed at the same time, so my conversations with them took place over a three-month period, in each of their own homes.  This project started as a way for me to bring my family together, and the camera allowed me to have a sense of control that I never had growing up.


The following review was written by Rachel Bowles for The Skinny in connection with my Degree Show exhibition at Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland, UK, 13–23, May 2010.

Jonathan David Smyth’s I’m Telling On You centres on heart-wrenching subject matter, that of the complicated, strained relationships of his adoptive family.  Using tight camera framing on his sisters’ faces and an almost Buñuelian insistence to document his parents in their surrounding home, Smyth communicates the constraining, frustrating nature of his family’s feud and the seeming inability of his parents to change.

Full article

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