Alive: Short Film Sheds Light on the Difficulties of The Disabled

3 out of 5 stars (average)

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Thank you to writer/director Jimmy Olsson for reaching out to me for this review.

As someone on the autism spectrum, I take great interest whenever a piece of media attempts to portray people with disabilities.  As the amount of positive and believable portrayals of the disabled are somewhat limited, I take each one hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.  The Spanish-language short film Alive falls somewhere in the middle, pointing out the frustrations a disabled person might have in the dating world, but fumbles the ball with its ending.

Viktoria (Eva Johansson) is a physically disabled woman under the care of Ida (Madeleine Martin).  Victoria is jealous of Ida for having a boyfriend, Bjorn (Joel Odmann), and wants to find her own relationship.  Ida helps her set up a profile, with an interested suitor.  Now Ida must choose whether to allow Viktoria some personal autonomy, putting a strain on their friendship.

Alive is not easy viewing, nor should it be.  While I am not as severely disabled as Viktoria, I understood her frustration with and desire to enter the dating scene without being judged for her disability.  I also appreciate the film for showing how stressful it can be for caretakers of disabled individuals, but feel this approach prevents the film from having a proper emotional resolution.  The film doesn’t feel quite balanced enough between the two characters for its impact to hit me, but I appreciate for communicating some of the frustration felt by the disabled.  Despite a frustrating ending, Alive highlights some of the struggles faced by the disabled community in honest fashion.  See it.

Likely Rated R for Some Language and Brief Sexuality.

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