Sandra, a young mother (Clare Dunn) escapes her abusive husband and fights back against a broken housing system. She sets out to build her own home and, in the process, rebuilds her life and re-discovers herself.
HERSELF is brilliant. Rather than focusing on the physical and emotional violence perpetrated against Sandra, the movie explores the incredible challenges faced by a mum with two children who, after escaping from her abusive husband, must navigate a bureaucracy that does little to really support her. But with the help of friends and others who genuinely care, she can rebuild her life and become herself.
Clare Dunn (who also co-wrote the screenplay) is stunning as the mother and Molly McCann and Ruby Rose O’Hara are totally convincing as her two kids. This story, while harrowing, is such a refreshing change to the typical Hollywood take on domestic violence. It’s a slowly told story but it is riveting as it digs deep into the emotional and social toll that survivors of abusive relationships experience.
The story is told with incredible sensitivity, empathy, and without exploitation. I can’t recommend this one highly enough.
(In cinemas in Australia – check your movie guide for your local show times.)