Thursday, May 28, 2020

All That I Am (2020) Hot Docs 2020

Emilie's other reaches out to her asking if she wants to move back home. She feels it's time that they begin to heal the damage of the past. Emilie agrees and we watch as she tries to reconnect with her family and move forward away from the darkness that devoured here.

Okay warning up front, this is the story of sexual abuse.. Emilie was abused by her stepfather from when she was six until she was was 12 and her father was sent away.  If you don't want to go into that place then stay away.  I mention this at the fore front because the press material dances around the subject in the short synopsis and knowing how upsetting the subject is I don't want anyone to walk into this film unprepared.

If you want an excellent look at the damage done by sexual abuse look no farther. This look at one woman's battle to come out of the darkness and get her life back is as good as they come. At times painful and uncomfortable the film is ultimately hopeful in that we watch as over time Emilie fights the demons with the help of caring people around her. The fact that we dip into the darkness makes what Emilie achieves all the more happy. Of course the damage is still there. The wounds will never heal, but she is getting to the point where she can have a life outside of the inside of an apartment or house.

I was moved. I'm not going to say I liked the film since this really isn't a film about a subject one likes. What I love is that director Tone Grøttjord-Glenne smartly remains focused on Emilie. We never leave her we never look away. We simply stay with her an observe her as she leaves her foster family, returns to her mother and siblings, deals with her step-dad's release and starts a new chapter in her life. We are there for the ups and downs. We come to like her as well as respect and understand her.

This is an excellent film and highly recommended for anyone who can go into the dark place of sexual abuse.

ALL THAT I AM is screening at Hot Docs Virtual Festival. For information on this film and the festival go here.

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