Available today on streaming services to purchase or rent is the documentary Rewind. The film will also be airing on PBS’s Independent Lens on May 11, 2020.
Rewind is a documentary about the life of Sasha Neulinger. This unique documentary features many home videos from Sasha’s life. I think this approach really helps the viewer to fully connect with Sasha.
Here is the film’s synopsis.
For as long as Sasha Joseph Neulinger can remember, a video camera was ever-present, with his father constantly filming— from birthday parties, to hockey games, to holidays. But his father’s camera, trained on the frequent gatherings of a tight-knit family, was also documenting a hidden secret, the revelation of which would lead to a media firestorm, a high-stakes court battle, and a generational reckoning. Drawing upon an incredibly revealing home video archive, Neulinger revisits these events 20 years later to piece together an unflinching story of the cycles and consequences of abuse, to examine what it means to heal, and to use those experiences to effect positive change in the world. Rewind probes the gap between image and reality, showing both how little, and how much, a camera can capture.
As I mentioned above, using home movies is a genius approach by the filmmakers. I don’t think the film would connect with people as much if it was strictly Sasha telling his life story, or using actors to portray the people in his life. Knowing what happened to Sasha, and a close family member, and seeing their young, innocent faces, tugs at your heart strings. The videos also pick up how Sasha’s demeanor and attitude changed the older he got.
I don’t want to give away too much of the film, but this film has to do with sexual, physical and emotional abused suffered by Sasha and his close family member. Between seeing the videos, and having Sasha talk about what was happening to him “behind the scenes” makes you want to reach into the screen and give him a hug. NO CHILD should ever have to endure what Sasha did.
The worse part about Sasha’s story is that is was not just one family member committing these crimes against him but rather several family members. Throughout the film (especially towards the end) we also learn about their backstories and how this family of abuse continued from generation to generation.
If you have been the victim of sexual, physical or emotional abuse, or know someone who has, then you need to see this documentary. It’s difficult to watch at times (what happened to Sasha not only breaks my heart, but it also makes me want to unspeakable things to those that hurt him), but the story can be inspirational as well. Despite what happened to Sasha, he’s doing what he can to bring to light these crimes against children, and doing his part to help find a way to prevent these things from happening to other children.
I think professionals should watch this movie as well (therapists, teachers, school administrators, people who care for children…) so that they might learn from his experience and perhaps be able to recognize it when other children are being abused. I know these professionals do get this type of training already, but I think it would help bring it to heart by actually seeing and hearing one man’s true story.
The run time for this film is 86 minutes. This documentary is not “family friendly.” Due to the subject matter, this is not for children.
If you are interested in learning more about this film, you can visit the official website, RewindDocumentary.com. You can also find the film on Facebook and Instagram (@RewindDocumentary) and on Twitter (@Rewind_Doc).
Below is the film’s trailer. You should really take the 2 minutes and watch it. Just look at how happy and innocent Sasha looked in the begining, and look at how rapidly he appearance and attitude changed. It totally breaks my heart, especially knowing who it was that was hurting him.
*I received a free screener of this film in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.