Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Sasha Joseph Neulinger
Written by: n/a
Directed by: Sasha Joseph Neulinger
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 86
Date: 05/08/2020
IMDB

Rewind (2020)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

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By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Sasha Joseph Neulinger's Rewind is a documentary about sexual abuse, but it's far from just another depressing "issue"-driven movie.

Words like brave and daring deserve to be used, given that Neulinger himself is a victim/survivor, and has delved into a huge archive of footage from his own childhood to piece together the story.

Neulinger's father, according to the movie, was late to his son's birth because he was out buying a video camera. From that moment on, he documented just about everything the family ever did.

So we see young Sasha changing from a smart, engaged little boy to a withdrawn, angry one. Eventually it's revealed that not one, not two, but three male relatives, who were frequent guests at the house, each molested young Sasha.

It's flatly disturbing to see images of these individuals being comfortable guests, clowning around, enjoying meals, and even kissing the boy on the cheek.

Rewind goes even further to explore just how Sasha's father, who was not guilty, but who nonetheless knew about his family's history, withdrew into denial.

It also looks into the punishments doled out to the three men. Bitterly, and perhaps not surprisingly, the most successful of the three, and the one whose abuse was the most severe, wound up with the lightest sentence.

Yet it's inspiring to see Neulinger proudly appearing on camera, facing down his demons, and proving himself undefeated by them.

The film will be available for rental Friday, May 8, and will premiere on PBS's Independent Lens May 11, 2020.

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