At a homeless drop-in center in New York City, a documentary crew finds Bikini Moon Davis, looking for help and a place to stay. With wide, lively eyes and a broad smile, Bikini is provocative, bold, and dynamic – and also clearly in a troubled mental state. Claiming she drove a forklift in the Iraq war and was trained as a carpenter – “just like Jesus, with tits” – she’s been on and off the streets, and hopes to stabilize her life and get back her young daughter from a foster home.
The documentary producer, Kate Skyler convinces the project’s director Trevor Hood that they should get involved in helping Bikini get back on her feet, despite the ethical problems of documentarians getting too involved in their subjects’ lives. The rollercoaster ride resulting from this involvement takes the viewer on a real journey filled with surprises.
Presented as a documentary that unravels, reveals, and reimagines itself alongside its unpredictable subject, BIKINI MOON’s film-within-a-film structure unpacks and examines the way we look at the world through media that demands to be seen as reality while asking the uncomfortable questions about the often deplorable relationship between media and its subjects. Ultimately, documenting Bikini’s life means seeing the world from her point of view without judgment, no matter how impossible, frightening and fantastic that view might be.