In the aftermath of an assault, a woman tries to come to terms with the violation, or just get through her day. Director Naima Ramos-Chapman uses an unexpected dose of magical realism to express a poetic response to a loss of dignity. The quiet morning at first feels mundane, but as new details emerge, the woman’s distant gaze takes on a cruel gravity. Theoretically, she has plenty of help, visualized beautifully in a shot where unidentified hands feed her, give her juice, brush her hair. But this isn’t the only kind of help she needs. When we reach the centerpiece scene — a phone call to a lawyer where she recounts the incident in stoic detail, we wrestle with how the outside world views her situation. It’s a heartbreaking and revelatory punch in the gut. Chapman stars as the young woman — as a performer she exudes strength without having to convince anyone of it. Her captivating screen presence never settles for an easy reaction, always feels truthful. As a filmmaker, her frames are brimming with life and color and moments of surrealism. Life goes on around you. How could it? but somehow it does. And you’re left looking for the right button to push to move on, if it exists. -KA.
Written, Directed, Produced, Edited by Naima Ramos Chapman. Director of Photography and Producer Terence Nance.