Bio-pic/Bare Life. by Josie/Jocelyn Deane

Scarlett Johansson is starring 
as Chelsea Manning. It’s
a passion play. Audiences 
unfamiliar with solitary confinement are
broken; during the Super Bowl ad 
we observe certain audiences in night 
vision. We collage them, weeping 
quietly in their chairs, or as they shield 
their eyes. There is passing 
reference of US war crimes in Afghanistan/Iraq 
in the second act. A photo is passed
along to different characters - every
one is played by Scarlett Johansson and
we watch their gaze briefly fogging
over. Nothing specific. There's a montage as 
ms. Johansson gets used to her 
cells, which- through clever cutting- 
is juxtaposed with 
the beginning of HRT. One 
doctor is an amalgamation of all her doctors.
All the appointments take
one afternoon in 2008, or 2010 or 2012 and 
we see her smile crookedly as her 
portrait is painted, closing up. She is
now staring defiantly/angrily at the wall, as
the camera wobbles. In act three, 
the all-is-lost, the camera lingers 
on a shiv-like pencil/wire/pills before cutting to
Scarlett Johansson unconsciously
carted out of the room, pursued by the same 
army men, the announcement of her freedom. 
Scarlett Johansson releases her head, 
a single tear streaks down 
the grime on her cheek. Her vital
signs beep. In an uncut director's 
edition, as a kind of post-script, she is being
interviewed about the Corona-virus, asked 
whether we are all Chelsea Mannings now? 
She says nothing, except smiling, her
gaze a lake she never visited as a child, 
interrogating/questioning, it appears to you. Cut.

Josie/Jocelyn Deane is a writer/student at the University of Melbourne. Their work has appeared in Cordite, Southerly, Australian Poetry Journal and Overland, among others. They were one of the recipients of the 2013 457 visa poetry/ shortlisted for the 2015 Marsden and Hachette prize for poetry. They live on unceded Wurundjeri land.