Ingrid Jungermann on her queer-themed dark comedy “Women Who Kill”

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If you’re a fan of the lesbian web series The Slope and F to 7th, you don’t need me to tell you Ingrid Jungermann is one funny gay lady. Showtime must think so too, because they’re adapting F to 7th for television. So it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing a lot more of Ingrid soon, but why wait? After a successful showing at Tribeca, her new film, Women Who Kill, is hitting the LGBT film festival circuit.

Ingrid wrote, directed and starred in the dark comedy Women Who Kill, a film about ex-girlfriends Morgan and Jean who work together on a true crime podcast. Ingrid plays paranoid Morgan, who eventually becomes suspicious that her new girlfriend, Simone, might be a murderer.

We recently got to chat with Ingrid and discussed why she’s interested in a “different” kind of queer cinema, her developing thoughts on relationships, why she’s excited for LGBT audiences to watch the film and more.

GettyImages-521593538via Getty

AfterEllen.com: How motivated were you to write a script with queer women at its center that wasn’t about them being queer, per se? I have to say, it’s a good sign for the future of lesbian cinema that we can watch a movie about exes who work together on a podcast about female murderers.

Ingrid Jungermann: That’s very important to me because I feel like we’re in a time when we can focus more on story rather than identity and work in identity and sexuality into story. I make stuff that I feel like I would want to watch and I feel like my job as a filmmaker is to entertain an audience. So I just focus on story. Everything that I do, I’m always interested just in writing for women. I have very little interest in writing for men. It’s just kind of a natural process for me to write for women. And it just so happens that most of the women in this movie are also queer. So I think it’s a way to not only entertain an LGBTQ audience that might be a little bit past watching a film where it’s just about coming out or the focus is about identity. I also think it’s a way to reach a little bit of a wider audience and invite people who aren’t LGBTQ into a story first and then have them realize that by the end they’ve forgotten that the story is any different from their own. For me, empathy and inclusion is kind of more what I’m drawn to.

 

AE: Is it a purposeful act, though, or does it just come as second nature to you to include these queer women as characters?

IJ: I think it’s both. I’m definitely aware of it because all queer people, unfortunately, have to be aware of their identity everywhere they go. But it is second nature for me. That’s where my interest lies, it’s what my world is, and I want to write about the world I know because I’m tired of seeing TV and films where I’m not reflected in the characters. And I think audiences feel the same way, and not only LGBTQ audiences. I think audiences, they want to see something new and different. And back to what I said, I want to start seeing more diversity. And it’s happening. Definitely in TV. I think film’s a little bit behind. But it’s still the idea that there’s only room for one or two. You know, you can have the one gay show, you can have the one trans show, you can have the one black show, and that’s it. That’s a little frustrating for me because I don’t think audiences are as simpleminded as the industry assumes.

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AE: Speaking of different, the whole idea of a podcast about female murderers. Not to sound weird, but is that something that personally interests you?

IJ: I grew up watching many movies. Lots of horror films. Also, some really bad 1980s TV true crime. That was definitely part of my childhood. My mother watched Without a Trace probably 20 times. I’m inspired by that sort of true crime novel and true crime TV. So that’s kind of found its way in. The characters started out as grad students, which was quite boring. And then it involved into them being writers, which was also boring. I think once I listened to Serial that’s where it connected for me that they needed to do something like that because it was a lot more active.

 

AE: So onto them: Morgan and Jean are both so, unique let’s call it, that you can’t help but think they belong together. What are your thoughts on that?

IJ: I can only speak for my personal experience, which is I don’t know if any two people really belong together. I think there’s good matches and bad matches. But what I’m really interested in now is the deconstruction of what a relationship is. I think that we all are, honestly, programmed from a very early age about gender, about sexuality, and about what a relationship looks like on any side of it. And it bothers me that the idea of a fairy tale is kind of our first experience with relationships as a young person. I think that can be really detrimental to relationships. So this movie is me questioning commitment and questioning marriage and also questioning that sort of falling in love idea.

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