88 minutes| U.K.| 2011| Colour| D-Cinema


Turner Prize-winning British artist Gillian Wearing’s first feature film project underlines her fascination with boundaries between public and private experience. Pointedly, it’s not that far removed from some reality TV show, where selected members of the public work with method acting coach Sam Rumbelow to draw on their own personal histories, building towards a final filmed piece which will display their new found dramatic skills and allow them to express who they are. The results are surprising, raw and emotionally affecting for participant and viewer alike, so much so that we sometimes wonder if Wearing’s being intrusive or exploitative. Yet the very act of asking these questions certainly means we’re engaging with the film, and the way these ordinary individuals are liberated by excavating the deeply buried pain in their past certainly gets us to ponder the constrictions of repression and the possibilities of confession in our own lives. Confrontational, original and illuminating, you’ll be talking about it for weeks. (Notes by Trevor Johnston).

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