Can Their Love Keep Him Out?
Drawing from real stories told by real survivors, Writer/Director Adam Wolf has written a fictional short film that depicts some of the most painful aspects of child abuse as well as the heartbreaking responses of children to the environment in which they are trapped. The film chronicles the life of a young girl, Aria, who is physically and sexually abused by her father, and her younger sister, Kylie, who has not yet suffered her father's abuse. As the story of Aria's abuse is told, we see that her greatest strength comes from her relationship with her sister, her need to protect her, her confusion over how to do so, and the lengths to which she goes to try. This is not a story that focuses on the terrible reality of child abuse. It is a story that focuses on the reality these children face, the real emotions they feel, the real difficulties they have in grappling with their abuse and their abusers, and the real efforts they make to heal.
Set in the rural Midwest but filmed on location in Los Angeles and Bakersfield, "Breaking In Unlocked Doors" takes place in the present day. Aria as an adult reflects upon her most powerful memories from her childhood and through flashbacks we learn of her abusive father, her free spirited sister, and her silent teenage self. Her abuse is filmed with the utmost delicacy, depicting the emotional impact of this type of trauma without being graphic. But while the story deals with child abuse, it is not about child abuse. Instead it is about hope. Hope that no matter how traumatized a child is, some of their innocence can be saved, hope that the love we share for each other can give us the strength to survive, and hope that awareness of the problem will help us fight it.
Kylie's repeated attempts to draw her sister into her brighter, happier world, and Aria's constant fear which keeps her locked in her own troubled world, are filmed amidst the beautiful and haunting backdrop of Midwest landscapes, corn fields, and deserted rural roads. Throughout these flashbacks, Adult Aria's voice drives the narrative. She speaks directly to the camera creating a very personal bond with the audience, treating them as if they were her sister. This hybrid of second person story telling and film has the potential to introduce some of the strongest elements of live theater to the cinema screen, including audience connection to the actor, immediacy of the story, and intimacy of the moment.
Altogether the film's goal is to promote awareness, understanding, and compassion for victims and survivors. The more people that understand the problem, the better our chances are of limiting its impact on our children.
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