Summer 1993

Reviewed by Xudong Li. Viewed at AFI Fest 2017.

Summer 1993 is a film by Carla Simon, and it features mainly on relationships and attachments. The story is about a six-year-old girl who is sent to the countryside to live with her uncle and aunt. In the movie, the young girl goes through a series of hardships when she loses both her parents. In the process, the girl is forced to move in with her extended family, since she cannot live alone. Ideally, the director is keen to draw the attention of the audience by providing moments in all scenes that provoke a sense of personal recollection. In most scenes, some emotions are drawn by the director from the viewers, making the film exciting and emotional.

The director is seen to be talented since he can make the film stand out from the rest of the child memoirs ever produced. Even though most child memoir movies concentrate on the story of the girl, they fail to follow what Simon employs, which is directness and attention to detail. The parents of the girl die from AIDS, and it was a time when people did not understand what it meant to have the disease. This was at a time when the ignorance about AIDS was on the rise, and anyone who had the disease would go through possible hostilities.

The director makes the viewer understand that it is not easy for the child to express her feelings. Having to move to a new place with her uncle and aunty did not give her a chance to be able to speak out on her thoughts and feelings. The director can help the viewer understand what emotions are running high by using soundtracks and other effects that make the film entertaining. A keen observer of the movie will notice that the movement to her aunt’s place is having a significant impact on her general existence.

After a hard time at her new home, Frida starts feeling uncomfortable and unwanted because of the misunderstandings that are brought up in her interactions with her new family. The director has several strong points in the movie, but what carries the day is the fact that he was able to bring a level ground for the script of the film. Primarily, everyone was a victim in their right, making the movie more interesting. The film is emotional and provokes vulnerability in the audience. The characters have been given the ability to be vulnerable and at the same time strong for each other.

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