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The Independent Critic

Written and Directed by:
Jennifer Clary
Monica Ramon, Kevin Haberer (Voice), Travis Siembieda
Running Time
5 Mins.

 "Dirty Girl" Review 
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In her directorial debut, filmmaker Jennifer Clary has created "Dirty Girl," an insightful and touching film chronicling cancer surgery from a female patient's perspective.

As nearly anyone who has ever experienced a major illness will tell you, the moments immediately before surgery are filled with a variety of jumbled emotions such as fear, anxiety, hope, resignation, confusion and despair. Clary captures these emotions and experiences beautifully inter-mixing reality with very special effects offering a face to these cellular enemies of so many women.

While the shift in "Dirty Girl" between animation and reality is occasionally jarring, so too is the shift between dealing with the mind's experience of trauma and the reality of what is happening.

Blain Brown's cinematography combines with Kevin Haberer's animation to create a portrait of this young woman (Monica Vila) that balances both the real and surreal aspects of cancer surgery.

"Dirty Girl" is a film that should be seen by everyone, but especially by those living with cancer and/or have loved ones with cancer. The simple way in which Clary's film directly, yet compassionately, addresses the thoughts, feelings and experiences of a woman experiencing cancer surgery may very well serve as a tool to invite questions and encourage open sharing during one of life's most trying times.

    The 50/50 x 2020 Pledge

    The Independent Critic is proud to support Indy-based Heartland Film by committing to the 50/50 x 2020 Pledge - By the end of the year 2020, The Independent Critic will achieve gender parity in its reviews of both shorts and feature films. Furthermore, The Independent Critic also pledges support for the Ruderman Family Foundation's call for authentic representation of people with disabilities in film and actively commits to leverage its journalistic influence to effect genuine change in the film industry by calling for and actively promoting authentic and inclusive casting and hiring of people with disabilities.

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