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The Independent Critic

Written and Directed by
Adam Kargman
Sharon Case, Debra Hopkins
Running Time
24 Mins.

 "Repressions" Review 
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Let's be honest. Having an Emmy-winning actress appear in your short film is a definite plus. Nonetheless, while having an experienced and talented actress may help it doesn't guarantee a winning short. For example, Oscar-winner Louis Gossett, Jr., appeared in last year's short film "Window" in a casting coup that would seem brilliant but had little impact on the film.
Such is not the case with "Repressions," a 24-minute short film written and directed by Adam Kargman and starring Emmy-winning soap actress Sharon Case as a 31-year-old woman with no job and a troubled relationship who seeks help from Dr. Flowers (Debra Hopkins), a psychologist whose controversial techniques bring vividly to mind the tragic results when therapy becomes more about the therapist's agenda than the client.
As the troubled Janie, Case is utterly mesmerizing in portraying an obviously intelligent young woman who's just vulnerable enough to be victimized by the woman who should be empowering her. In a mere 24 minutes, Case creates a devastating portrayal that is emotionally raw without ever crossing the line into melodrama or histrionics.
Films such as "Repressions" are always challenging, at best. While one doesn't want to minimize the trauma of countless numbers of survivors of sexual abuse, the impact of irresponsible therapeutics and false memory is undeniable. On more than one occasion, I found myself screaming at Dr. Flowers "YOU IDIOT!"
While Case offers an astounding performance, "Repressions" itself could have benefitted from a touch of restraint in the way Dr. Flowers' character is developed. While it's undoubtedly true that there are psychologists and therapists who have clearly and abusively manipulated the therapeutic process, it is a far more common experience that the therapist or psychologist in question is negligent, inexperienced or, perhaps most challenging of all, simply a misguided do-gooder. In "Repressions," the wrongs of Dr. Flowers seem painted with rather broad strokes rather than the gray shadings that are more commonly present.
In a society in which 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys is believed to have experienced sexual abuse, "Repressions" is a stunning film on a vitally important subject.

As a note to abuse survivors, please do be aware that Kargman powerfully shoots scenes recounting tales of abuse complete with flashbacks. Those easily triggered would be best served by viewing "Repressions" in the company of a trusted loved one.