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Shadow Girl
color & b/w. 75 min. In Spanish w/English subtitles. , dist. by Women Make Movies, www.wmm.com. 2018. DVD $89; acad. libs. $395 (Rental: $150). Public performance. BIOG/INT AFFAIRS
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Filmmaker Larraín's (b. 1951) final movie documents the loss of her sight and the aftermath as she struggles to support herself while adapting to a new way of life, returning to her native Chile after the denial of her disability benefits in Canada, and the death of her mother. Although Larraín takes comfort in reconnecting with the family she left behind, the plight of Santiago's blind street vendors gives her additional motivation to assert her rights and independence. The director conveys the sensation of her visual impairment with distortions and blockages of light and lens, but the film's lack of factual information on the different types, causes, and treatments of blindness renders it a shadow of what it might have been. Some nudity (in an artistic context) and mature content, but suitable for young adults and up.
VERDICT While neither pathetic nor bathetic, this look at the impact of blindness isn't insightful or inspiring enough to stand on its own. An optional purchase for general audiences as a supplement to factual information about the condition.

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