You write the reviews: Her Name Is Sabine (12)
Monday 01 September 2008
In this moving and acutely personal documentary, the elegant French actress Sandrine Bonnaire delivers a deeply affecting portrayal of the way she and her younger sister, Sabine, have dealt with the latter's autism, a condition that remained shockingly undiagnosed for more than two decades.
Much of their history as siblings is delivered through silent home-video snapshots of their childhood – delicately observed, ordinary moments such as Sabine laughing or looking out of a car window. These understated images of a beautiful, free-spirited youngster are interspersed with the desperate reality of Sabine as she is now at 38, only momentarily recognisable – depressed, anxious, overweight, non-communicative and prone to distressing violent outbursts.
As the film progresses, a major question prevails: to what extent was Sabine's five-year hospital incarceration responsible for her decline? It becomes clear that her confinement was possibly unnecessary and that a lack of medical resources, and emotional understanding failed her. By alternating starkly different images of childhood and adulthood, Bonnaire perfectly manipulates the audience's reaction to the sisters' plight.
More information about Sabine's hospitalised life would have helped to move one beyond knee-jerk responses and to contemplate the complexity of the issues thrown up. But Her Name Is Sabine is a brave and ultimately honest film. It's refreshing that Bonnaire doesn't seek to glorify or sensationalise what both sisters have been through, and their capacity for love and humour is evident despite the mutual frustration and confusion about the life Sabine leads and the life she could perhaps have had.
Jemma Smith, waitress, Lancaster
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The difference between a migrant and refugee, in one sentence
- 2 Miley Cyrus calls out hypocrisy of women’s nipples being taboo
- 3 Celebrity Big Brother 2015: Tila Tequila kicked off show after 'describing Hitler as a good man'
- 4 iPhone 5c to be discontinued, no iPhone 6c to replace it
Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
These Harry Potter lipsticks are sparking all sorts of controversy with Hogwarts fans
Game of Thrones season 6: Director promises most exciting premiere yet 'starts off with a bang'
Hunted: Channel 4 to test 'surveillance Britain' by taking Big Brother to sinister new lengths
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs