Her Name is Sabine (12A)
Friday 20 June 2008
The French actress Sandrine Bonnaire's documentary portrait of her younger sister Sabine is, at times, so poignant you feel your heart might break.
Belatedly diagnosed as autistic, the 38-year-old Sabine now lives in a care home co-founded by her sisters and run by people of seemingly heroic patience and kindliness. Sadly, her life was severely damaged by five years in a psychiatric hospital, where she lost all confidence and began to harm herself and others.
What lends this story an extra pathos is its crosscutting between family footage of Sabine as a spirited, rather beautiful girl and her present-day self, a heavy-set, medicated child-woman who still hits people and depends on her sister to an almost tragicomic degree. It hints, no more, at the private tragedies so many families suffer through learning disability, yet affirms a depth of sibling tenderness that could hardly be more touching.
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