Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Unseen (2023) Hot Doc 2023


This is a portrait of Pedro. A undocumented man working on his degree in social work he is struggling to come to terms with the limitations of being undocumented has on his ability to get a degree. He als has to deal with having limitations on his ability to see.

Blood relative to the narrative film THE MAN WHO DID NOT WANT TO SEE TITANIC, UNSEEN is a film that uses its visuals to put us in the shoes of it's subject. Everything is not always clear so as a result we truly come to understand the daily battle of Pedro.

I really liked this film a great deal. It's one of the best films I have seen that is playing at Hot Docs this year. What makes the film so great is the choice to put us in Pedro's shoes. To be certain it could be just a cheap ploy to get attention for the film, but the use here lifts the film up. Since it is not a constant thing we get moments to reflect on what we are experiencing. We are never overwhelmed and instead allowed to process the deeper implications. The film stops being a film and instead becomes something we have to experience.

It's the experience that also makes this film hard to write on. The act of seeing it doesn't just give us information that we can take in, but instead it gives us something we have to sit with and ponder. Its something we can't fully write on because much of my reaction is visceral, something somewhere beyond words.

You need to sit and see this film, not on TV in your living room where you can get distracted. Instead you need to see this in a theater where you can't look away, at your phone or out the window. You need to do this so that you can fully understand what this film is telling us.


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