Scars @ TIFF

Simple. Short. Affecting. That all describes the almost 10 minute short film by director Alex Anna. She has made a very personal film. She is not only the director here but the subject. A brave artist.

A film about a subject which we have deemed taboo. Not spoken about because we cannot understand it so we remain silent. Our muteness forces the people doing this to be isolated or alone. Mental illness and self harm is not something humans are comfortable with.

Here Alex Anna uses her own body as the canvas for her story. Her body is covered with scars from head to toe. White lines all over her body. Some hidden under clothes, some out in full view. And yet she states that even her closest friends don’t dare speak to her about the scars.

A film like this brings much needed awareness to a subject which dearly needs to be spoken about. Mental health and self harming affects many. They suffer in silence.

Alex Anna courageously uses her own story in order to bring these subjects out into the light. Using close up shots of her bare skin. All over her body. Along with some animation tracing the cuts/scars. At one point she states that her scars are closed, but the impulse to hurt herself has never left. She continues to struggle against it.

It is simple but very impactful. Just those simple images along with her voice telling her story. Here’s to hoping it will start a dialogue. Talking is part of the healing process.