Several months into her first relationship, documentarian Joanna Arnow decides to follow its trajectory in a film. Her boyfriend, James, is a Texan poet who incites racial tensions at his Harlem open mic. Although James’ charisma and confidence endear him to Joanna (as well as his 112th street audience), soon he spirals out of control, drinking more heavily and provoking conflicts both on stage and at home.
As post-production of the film begins, co-editor Max Karson, working naked, picks arguments in a similarly abrasive manner. He accuses Joanna of ignoring the gender dynamics she plays into, repressing her sexual identity, and manipulating the story for her own benefit.
In the end, Joanna attempts to dispel the shame surrounding her character and upend the role others expect of her – the film ultimately explores the convergence between our lives and our narratives.