Vancouver International Film Festival
Director Carl Laudan screened his film, Sheltered Life, at theatre Pacific Cinematheque as a Canadian feature in the Vancouver International Film Festival.
Sheltered Life focuses on the serendipitous relationships that Josephine Nash, a Suburban school girl and, her mother Candice, develop when they check-in to a women’s shelter in anonymous, small town, Canada. Under one roof, the two find friendship and support in the disjointed network of a refuge.
Though I applaud Laudan and writer Katherine Schlemmer for their insight into a broken home, I found some aspects of the movie distracting to the clarity of the story; it seemed as if there were these stark underlying themes of how, unlike with common practice in a time-scarce society, there are no easy fixes to relationships. For instance, I found that the critical elements of the film – that were so moving – were also spoon-fed and unnecessarily explicit in dialogue. I felt that some interpretations of character were stagnant under the veil of common representation. That is, I felt that characters assumed their social roles instead of challenging them.
Although obscure at times, Sheltered Life is incredibly meaningful on the theme of its movement. As a small-budgeted Canadian film, Sheltered Life shows how a group of hard-working people can band together within a common vision. It hints at how we need each other, and how fronts and appearances cannot sustain the inner human desires for connection and love. As Laudan so honestly said of the film: “When you make a movie about women, you also make a movie about men.”