Her Name is Sabine

NOT AVAILABLE ANYMORE TO STREAM ON NETFLIX. FrenchFlicks turned a little bit somber this week and delved into the heartbreaking and true story of Sandrine Bonnaire's sister Sabine, with Her Name is Sabine. (Elle s'appelle Sabine, 2007)

The filmmaker, Sandrine Bonnaire, is a Cesar Award Winning actress. She was also the seventh of eleven children. One of which, is 38 year old autistic Sabine.   

Sandrine wistfully describes the life of Sabine, which was actually very joyful and manageable in her early years. As time goes on, painful and raw depiction of Sabine shows us that characteristics of her personality grow darker, are filled with more anger and frustration, and actually turn violent. 

Her Name is Sabine is an intimate narrative, but also a social message. In this developed world, no experts knew how to diagnose Sabine until much later in life. No course of treatment was for sure, and rehab facilities and homes were few and far between. Luckily for Sabine, Sandrine had fortune and fame to create one of these facilities from the ground up. However, the drugs, the institutions, and the traumas had done their damage on Sandrine's little sister, both physically and mentally. 

The documentary asks us to contemplate the fact that there is still much to be done in the field of mental illness. Although sometimes woeful, the piece is admirable in that it shows the person behind the illness, with all of her talents, compassion, and resiliance. She is not just another unfortunate soul; she is the complicated, loveable and fascinating Sabine.

Nicole Eicholtz

French movies on Netflix that we previously reviewed : 

Un heureux événement (A Happy Event) 

Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d'enfants (And They Lived Happily Ever After) 

Intouchables (The intouchables) 

Les Petits mouchoirs (Little White Lies) 


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