Mysterious Skin

Mysterious Skin ★★★★★

A film that has that very power to take your soul and shatter it into tiny little pieces. I remember first watching Mysterious Skin when I was younger and closeted, and it didn't quite hit nearly as hard as it does now - after having familiarized myself with more of Gregg Araki's films, but also trying to live with a memory I try my hardest to suppress.

Mysterious Skin is a film all about the lasting effects of child sexual abuse upon the sort of person one would grow up to become. But for every moment where Gregg Araki is telling this story from Neil's point of view, as a gay man who had to live with this trauma all his life, there's also a greater empathy coming forth from how it connects with Brian's fascination with alien abduction - as it leads into something more devastating. It's heartbreaking because of how it unveils the damages left behind by the gaslighting of these people, but also about how it could destroy your relationships with those you love most.

If you're ever wondering why people rarely, if ever, come forth with their stories about their experiences of sexual assault, this movie will give you a sense of what it felt like to have the trauma haunt you all your life - and how difficult it can be to open up about it too.

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