Rape. Something we all hear about, but only those who truly know, know. It's the kind of thing many people convince themselves is bad but not murder bad - but those who have been raped will tell another story. Another story altogether. Rape is a brutal act that, as stated in the film, is about sex, but that's only the beginning. Rape is an experience that never really goes away, and most of us understand that conceptually - but that's about as far as it goes.
"Faces of Dead Women" begins its journey as a quasi-reality-based film where victims of rape are being interviewed and telling their stories. At first, it's hard to know if the interviewees are the real victims or actors. Hell, it's hard to know if this film is a true story or not until later on in the movie. Eventually, you realize that it's actors playing the parts - but this still could be all based on reality, right? Well, reader, that doesn't really matter. It's the story that matters, and let me tell you this, the film's final act will throw the audience right out into the left field. I won't spoil why, but man - it was awesome. Of course, by awesome, I mean the film itself and not the horrific stories. I'll be honest... I loved the ending.
Yup. This is a micro-budget film, but let me tell you, it's done pretty well, and actually? The lower budget actually adds to the charm of the film. Did I write charm? Perhaps that's not the best word considering the content, but I'm sure you get the idea. As stated, at first, I thought this was nothing more than a slightly dramatized showcase of the true impact of rape. Why wouldn't I? Everything is here, including dramatic clips, AKA the reenactments. It's when a male was thrown into the fold I began to suspect something was up. But even then, "Faces of Dead Women" went further than I ever expected, and it was great.
Joshua Nelson has written and directed a great short film. Of that, there's no question. The performances are pretty great; the content is dark and actually does affect those watching - those of us with a shred of humanity, that is. I've personally watched a couple of movies from Mr. Nelson and generally like the filmmaker's style - but this film is by far my favorite so far. Maybe a tad long, but if so, only just. "Faces of Dead Women" was all around a good movie to kill some time with. Well done.