Austin Lord’s review published on Letterboxd:
Hey everyone, this is likely the most personal review I’ll ever write, and one of the toughest reviews I’ve ever written and shared with people. I’m going to share something that I’ve never shared with anyone, how I am inextricably linked to this film.
When I was a child, I was sexually abused. I don’t have a lot of recollection of the event since I was only 5 or 6, but it very much so happened and this film has brought up memories that I’ve been repressing for so long. The first time I saw this, I related so much to one of the main characters, Brian, and I didn’t understand why, until these memories resurfaced shortly after watching.
When I was in Kindergarten, I had this one friend who lived near me, so we hung out all the time. One day, he forced me into doing things that I didn’t want to do. I won’t go into detail, but it happened a few times and the memories are extremely scattered about for me. Since I was so young, I didn’t know any better and I thought it was normal, but my mom walked in one time and started yelling at me about how sex is for adults and how what I was doing was wrong.
This instilled the idea in my head that it was my idea, and that I was wrong for something happening to me against my will. This has severely messed me up as an adult. I have had a few sexual encounters, but every time I feel extremely uncomfortable and don’t like it, it always feels like I’m doing something awful. It’s always felt like there’s something wrong with me for being this way, but this film has made me feel validated and I understand myself so much more. 15-16 years after the incidents, I’m still messed up from it and I’m not entirely sure how to get better, but this film made me acknowledge what happened, so I think this is a step in the right direction.
I feel like my experience isn’t nearly as bad as others, so I never have felt the need to share my experience. After assessing the situation, I realized that this was still a traumatic experience for me, no matter how I compare with others. So after so long, I finally feel comfortable speaking of this, as I have literally never shared this with anyone. I’ll hopefully continue to grow from this experience, taking little steps of progress until I finally can feel comfortable with myself again.
Losing childhood innocence at a young age is a horrific thing, and I wish I could go back and erase this from time, but there’s obviously no way to fix the past. This film will likely hold a very special place in my heart for the rest of my life, as it has forced me into facing a traumatic experience, pushing me one step closer to improvement. If anyone is reading this, thank you so much for reading this and letting me share this part of me. If anyone has gone through something similar, you are not alone, and it’s not your fault. ❤️❤️❤️