Year Released: 2023
Director(s): Elsbeth Fraanje
Writer(s): Elsbeth Fraanje
Where To Watch: 2023 Slamdance Film Festival Premiere. Screen this and more at Slamdance Film Festival
RAVING REVIEW: My favorite part of film criticism is constant education; I learn something new every day. It doesn’t matter if the focus is on the entire world or a single person (as is the case here.) I have a prominent soft spot for documentaries because, most of the time, they get to explore subjects that I would never know about.
We explore the human psyche, delving deep into the raw emotions that drive our need for connection and intimacy. The central character, Evelien, embarks on a journey of self-discovery as they struggle with feelings of inadequacy and a lack of fulfillment in their sexual experiences. But as they delve deeper into this newfound world, they discover new parts of themselves and their body and open up to the needs and desires they have been suppressing all their life.
The film is a nuanced and honest portrayal of the complexities of human intimacy, showcasing the vulnerability and raw emotion that comes with the pursuit of connection and self-esteem. Evelien’s journey is relatable and universal as they grapple with the fear of rejection and irrelevance, the yearning for recognition, and the deep-seated insecurity that comes with opening oneself up to another person.
The film portrays the protagonist's experience honestly and genuinely, delving into the struggles and triumphs of navigating the world as someone with a disability. It is not just about sex or the experience of being disabled but delves into the underlying emotions that drive our need for connection and the impact on our self-perception.
Throughout the film, Evelien breaks down these barriers and defies societal expectations, ultimately finding self-acceptance and embracing their unique identity. The film also touches on the importance of representation and visibility of marginalized communities in media and how it can promote acceptance and understanding.
The subject matter of the film may be considered taboo by some, but society must learn to normalize and accept diversity in all forms. The film is a powerful reminder of the importance of empathy and understanding towards those who may be perceived differently by society and how every individual has a unique journey and experience.
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[photo courtesy of TANGERINE TREE]