Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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Allison Anders' bold drama features a fine performance from Kim Dickens as a recording artist suffering from addiction.
Kim Dickens plays a musician who was traumatized when she was raped as a young teen. Although suffering from serious emotional issues as a result, she has channeled some of her pain into her music. A music journalist sets up an interview with her ostensibly to cover this story, but really to try and resolve some issues of his own. He was personally and intimately tied to the rape. Not a spectacular film, but a vivid and compelling account of how violence can affect everyone involved. Dickens is superb in the lead role, but I had a fair amount of difficulty picturing her as the adult version of the actress cast as her teen self. Don Cheadle co-stars as her boyfriend/manager and Eric Stoltz is amazingly scummy as the film's heavy.
This movie does not stand the test of time and its only 2001. I thought it was going to break out into a full on porn film. Acting is terrible with the exception of Don Cheadle. Dialogue is cliché. Long, boring, horrible
Very good movie. Not suitable for ignorant optimists.
Well that was quite potent.
Powerful, gripping film that dramatizes the lifelong effect of the aftermath of rape on its victims, who like other tortured souls of trauma, are survivors. The Accused dealt with getting justice for a rape victim. This film deals with how to live the life that is destroyed by it, and with it's superb performances by Kim Dickens and Don Cheadle, this film should have been an Oscar nominated one too.
I caught this little gem on late-night cable during a bout of insomnia and do not regret it. It's about a rising rock singer, Sharry (Kim Dickens) who is suffering extreme anguish because of a gang rape she endured as a young girl. She hid the memory away but it surfaces later in her life as the inspiration for her moody music. She reacts by diving into alcoholism, drug use and casual sex. Her protective manager (Don Cheadle, in a brilliant performance) sees the potential in her, but he also sees the hurt that will forever temper the brilliant woman she might have been.
Enter Gabriel (Owen Richardson), a reporter wishing to interview the troubled Sharry. What neither of them knows is that his brothers were responsible for raping Sharry, and countless other girls, so many years ago in his childhood home. He loves Sharry, and tries to make amends with the news that his oldest brother, the "ringleader", is now in prison. Unsurprisingly, this goes very poorly, and Gabriel quickly finds himself in over his head. This is in part because both Sharry and Gabriel have information about the other that neither is aware of, like the missing pieces of a puzzle that was better off unfinished. These epiphanies are clarified in a series of heart-wrenching confessions book-ended by disturbing flashbacks that are admittedly hard to watch but admirably realistic without seeming exploitative. As the truth slowly, painfully comes to light the characters are left with the gravity of their choices, and the reality that there is really nothing they can do but try to move on and make the right decisions.
I liked that the movie handled the subject matter in a paced, sensitive manner without co-opting the tragedy with easy solutions or predictable reactions. I felt sorry for the characters, not because I pitied them, but because they did a good job conveying formerly spirited people whose lives had been ruined by something vile and hidden. Kim's performance augments this sense of hopelessness with full immersion into the part of Sharry. There are some raw emotions and loaded conversations to be found here. If you rape someone, you vicariously rape everyone around them. As the friend of a victim of such violence I brought a lot of personal feelings to the movie, and the progression of the plot and the perceptions of the characters brought many of those feelings back.
On the acting, it's a proper balance between naturalism and stagecraft. Sharry and Gabriel both mix it up between a strange kind of confused disengagement with the situation followed by an urge to please everyone. There are some really great scenes, like when Gabriel confesses his involvement to Chuck. It's always just a movie but Cheadle's reaction caught me completely off guard and I could feel how physically afraid Gabriel must have been in that moment. I also liked the part where Sharry finally goes back to the house of her nightmares to get some closure, and finds something unexpected there. <i>Behind The Sun</i> also deserves high notes for its excellent soundtrack, which features contributions by Sonic Youth and Kristen Vigard tailored specifically for the film, and like the rest of this movie they find just the right tone and grab it.
Pretty brutal (obviously), but it made me wish Allison Anders worked more. (How pissed must Kim Dickens be that it would be UNTHINKABLE now for her and Gabriel Mann to play characters who are around the same age?)
Incredibly moving and daring. Although it is not an easy film to watch because it is graphic, it is an eye opening and emotional film that deserves attention. Anders' has created a deeply personal film to channel her inner thoughts and emotions and has come up with something that demands to be seen. Things Behind the Sun is a beautiful film.
Even though quite naturalistic at times, it does not drag you down. Quite the opposite, this is is a story of how human soul can survive anything, but we can move on only if we are whole inside out and that is what we need to aim for even in the day to day.