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I know the focus right now is on the Top 100 list, but once y'all have caught your breath, I can't recommend this new documentary highly enough.  What makes it even more impressive is that this is the director Sasha Joseph Neulinger's debut, fresh out of film school.  (It had its premiere at Tribeca last year and drops on PBS' Independent Lens series tomorrow.)  For Rewind, Neulinger chose to work through his childhood sexual trauma, with the help of his parents, sister, former child psychiatrist, and the prosecutors of what eventually became a high-profile criminal case.  His endeavor is aided by the fact that his dad is a documentary filmmaker, too, and shot over 200 hours of home movies.

I assume that people know this about me, but for those who don't, my day job is psychiatrist, and I spent 5+ years exclusively doing PTSD work with veterans, with a couple of academic writings and presentations on that topic to my name.  And this film deeply impressed me as not only well-crafted in the storytelling and editing departments, but as a work with a clear goal of being therapeutic for the director, and for viewers who have their own trauma history or who want to understand the psychological workings of trauma better.  (And sadly, it's yet another story of a religious institution protecting a perpetrator, though the director's spiritual/cultural/familial heritage also was a source of strength at a crucial juncture.)

Here's my full review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2020/05/rewind-courageously-staring-down-trauma-in-a-masterful-documentary-as-therapy-and-public-service/

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa


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  • 4 months later...

Gut-wrenching, stomach-souring, infuriating, like crawling through broken glass... this is one of the most difficult documentaries I've ever sat through. What I began to think was too sensationalistic, characterized by a spirit of vengeance, eventually justifies itself by broadening its scope to reveal the purposefulness within it all. It's a necessary film and I'm glad it exists. I wish I could remove the word harrowing from all of my previous reviews, though, so that I could more properly and powerfully apply that term here.



Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.


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