Herself

Right, I gret through almost all of that.

The film follows Sandra as she leaves an abusive marriage, only to end up living in a limbo of temporary accommodation, but determined to give her children the life they deserve, builds a house from scratch.

And you’d think in a film about domestic abuse and homelessness, I’d be crying because it was tragic. But it’s not. It reduced me to tears because it’s about surprising, unexpected kindness. The extraordinary ordinary, the miracle we’ve become so familiar with we fail to see it. That people will do for each other, sacrifice for each other, help and care for each other, with no expectation of their cut, or their angle.

The director introduced the film, and explained that, in this time when so many movies are being pulled from cinemas, this movie could not have a more timely release than now. Written years ago, it’s message has only become more potent in the time of Covid. As billionaires increase their wealth and multimillion pound companies lay off workers in their tens of thousands, neighbours and community volunteers have rallied together to provide the bare essentials of life to the people who need it most. Have given their time, their energy, without payment, without fanfare, to help their fellow man. Because it was the right thing to do. Because of decency. And it is an extraordinary miracle, in this world where all our life is counted in hourly pay, when there is a pound sign on every moment, and anything expended not on our own gain is seen as wasted or lost, that people will help one another, to no benefit of themselves, other than it reminds us of our common humanity. And it’s so everyday, we’ve gone blind from seeing it.

Herself reminds you just how extraordinary kindness is. From the kindness of those that help her build a new home for her family, to the kindness she shows to her girls by making every end meet, going above and beyond, to move heaven and earth, to give them a safe place to enjoy their childhood. The other everyday miracle is the strength and resilience of women. In a world where all the cards are against them, where patriarchal structures, and poverty, and violence continue to grind them down, they rise, they rise, they rise!

Just a quietly extraordinary film, incredibly moving, and full of the absurd optimism of survivors. Go see.