Sebbe (Najafi, 2010)
Heartbreakingly poignant in its approach to isolation and neglection, Sebbe lets a sad story unfold uncensored. Sebbe, a teenage boy, splits time between being bullied at school and living with his (possibly) bipolar mother. What makes the story extremely difficult to experience is Sebbe’s lack of a ‘safe place’. Throughout the film, despite the pain she causes, he is endlessly forgiving of his mother, which leads to some genuine quality time with her. But without knowing when she might blow up and/or let him down, there is always a strong sense of tension in their relationship.
The mood of the film is also great. In what sounds like a bad contrast of styles, soft poetic music accompanies intimate cinematography in the harsh world these people live in, mostly during moments Sebbe spends alone. He’s an extremely intelligent boy, and it’s during these scenes where you can feel him contemplating life, especially with so much wearing on his mind. Sad movie, yes, but definitely excellent. 8.5/10