Vicky Knight, Eliza Brady-Girard, Rebecca Stone
Having received rave reviews at both Sundance and Rotterdam Film Festival earlier this year, this powerful drama, the first English language film from acclaimed Dutch director Sacha Polak (Hemel, Zurich), follows a young, working-class woman returning to normal life following a brutal incident.
After a horrific acid attack at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, Jade (Vicky Knight) is discharged from hospital. The doctors are happy with her physical progress, but Jade is still learning to cope with the trauma of the incident and the visible scars on her face, neck, chest and arms, which alarm her two-year-old daughter, reduce the male attention she once took for granted and profoundly alter her sense of self. Gradually, she begins to readjust – employing various strategies (faceless online flirtations, a possible avenue for plastic surgery) to do so.
It’s a portrait of a young woman with tremendous resilience, with an unusually complex and convincing heroine; capricious, tough-minded, and vibrantly sexual. Jade isn’t a passive victim; she makes her own choices, and deals with the consequences. Polak’s direction is subtle and controlled, without the director surrendering any of her signature intensity; and newcomer Vicky Knight – herself badly burned as a child – is a genuine revelation in the lead role.