That Which Does Not Kill
Cyril BibasCécile LestradeElise Hug
In 2013, at the end of a screening of Alexe Poukine’s first feature film, a woman (Ada) approached her and told her a story. It was the story of what happened to her nine years earlier, something that almost a decade later she still struggled to come to terms with. She was 19 back then and had freshly embarked on the adventure of life, having moved to Lille to study and live with a friend. But shortly after, a man she knew raped her three times within a one-week period, and it changed the course of her life. After meeting her again and having her write down what happened, Poukine turned Ada’s story into a film.
Its structure is so simple but so powerful. Several people narrate Ada’s story in the first person, like it’s theirs, while Poukine films and interacts with them at times. The result is a visceral portrait of what happened to this woman, and its collective narration goes beyond the limits of what the story is. «Embodying» Ada’s words awakens the narrator’s own feelings and experiences. Their emotions unfold to reveal their own process of embodying her, their judgments, and how they came to understand the young woman deeper. This turns everything into a mosaic that illustrates just how commonplace sexual abuse actually is.
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TRAUMA: A certain kind of trauma more common than we’re willing to admit