3 out of 5 stars (average)
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.