Her Name Is Sabine review

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French thesp Sandrine Bonnaire makes her directorial debut with this intimate, poignant docu-portrait of her 38-year-old autistic sister Sabine. Clips from old home movies reveal a pretty, vibrant Sabine, who was able to play piano, learn English and join big sis on trips abroad, even if her erratic behaviour kept her out of school. Today, after a disastrous five-year spell in a psychiatric hospital, Sabine finds herself under heavy medication in a residential centre, tended by a team of carers. Chopping between Sabine’s past and present, the film sheds light on how her independence has been lost and personality stifled. Bonnaire’s carved an expression of deep love for her sibling – one that also asks vital questions about how civilised society should look after sufferers of debilitating behavioural conditions.

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