Alex Anna’s Short film Scars – Film Review

“We are greater than the sum of our parts.”

―John Green, “Looking for Alaska”

Through the graceful union of live-action and animation, Alex Anna’s short film ‘Scars’ takes us on an intimate journey of the woman behind the scars, and how each mark of her body tells its own story.   Alex Anna proudly brings to life the journey of her life through the medium of film in this thought-provoking and poetic 11-minute documentary. The film speaks with a profound voice and an admirable emotional tenacity on the part of Alex.

She creates a unique dialogue, that boldly shines a light on mental health, psychiatry, and the taboo subject of self-harm. There is no censure in her narrative as she weaves her story, simply an open and honest vulnerability that is refreshing in its frankness and commandeers the viewers’ attention.  There is no hint of hesitation, as she shares the story behind her innumerable collection of scars, who she herself admits to losing count of.

The film is beautifully shot in close up using a microscopic camera, and the swirling of elegant twirls and tendrils that are animatedly weaving there way around her skin and plotting the collection of scars on her skin, as if weaving a map of the road that has taken her this far in life.

Scars is a mesmerizing film, that demands the viewers put aside any preconceived prejudices and sit up and pay attention of how one woman’s physical scars do not define all that she is, but rather the story behind each one is the sum of all she is and what her life led her to. Some viewers may feel uncomfortable with the subject matter, but in the face of such unflinching honesty we can come away with the understanding that we may not all wear our scars proudly, but the undeniable truth is that we all have them, seen or unsean.

Our scars may not define us, but the story behind each one is just as important as the reason for its being. We all live our lives giving and receiving love from other, and in the journey of life, the road to becoming who we are meant to be, there will be painful moments that carve a bit of our souls away, but those moments should not make life any less beautiful. They should simply serve as reminders and eventually memories that as we grow older, become less haunting and more a part of what made us. Personally, I truly commend Alex Anna for making such a poignant film and am greatly looking forward to seeing more of her work and her art in the future.

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