Chubby

Canadian short film which deals with sexual abuse of a minor. This is a personal endeavor for both of the directors, Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli, as they are both survivors of sexual abuse. Here they are trying to bring to light a subject we don’t often talk about and as a result many victims remain silent about what happened to them. Want more survivors to speak of what they went through in order to bring about dialogue on the subject.

Running 22 minutes, the short film has screened at many festivals including Festival du Nouveau Cinema (Montreal), Slamdance Film Festival, London Short Film Festival, and premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. Along the way it has won or been nominated for many awards and is in consideration for an Oscar nom.

Film sees a 10-year-old girl, Jude (Maya Harman – first film) who tells her family, though not her father, that she has been sexually abused. Obviously this is crushing news for her mother and older sister, who argue about whether to tell their father/husband. We also see some flashbacks about the incident with an older male (Jesse LaVercombe – from television’s Murdoch Mysteries) while the two were alone. Each member of the family struggles to come to terms with what happened and how it should be handled.

Though oftentimes dark and the fact that it deals with a not pleasant subject, the cinematography, by Adam Crosby, here is quite beautiful. Really amplifies the story.

A measured film which acknowledges the complexity of the subject. Shines a light on how the large part of the burden is heaped on the shoulders of the young person involved. They are retraumatized by this as a result. How victims feel like they are somehow to blame. That they were participants rather than this was an awful thing done to them.

We see none of the sexual abuse as the camera is kept on the faces of those involved. Yet it is still tough to watch at times. Still the effects of what happened are still depicted as shattering.

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