Some Body

Director: Henry Barrial
Screenwriters: Henry Barrial, Stephanie Barrial

Institute History

  • 2001 Sundance Film Festival


Samantha is a woman lost in the netherworld of her late 20s—no longer young but not yet middle-aged. Although far from worldly, she knows enough to distance herself from the boyfriend with whom she shares the most common relationship-death syndrome-"being too comfortable." Wanting change and searching for an elusive happiness, Samantha strikes out on her own to experience life but quickly finds the regeneration she seeks can be far from romantic. With this new freedom, her life begins to tear apart at the seams.

In his handling of this material, director Henry Barrial turns an unflinching eye on the complicated intricacies of this woman's psyche. He has mastered a documentary-like realism and an impressive cinema-verité closeness. A huge amount of credit must be given to Stephanie Bennet, the actress who not only plays Samantha with remarkable pathos but also cowrote the script with Barrial. Refreshingly, they avoid the common pitfall of making Samantha a victim. She has made her own bed, which makes her downward spiral all the more fascinating. Her problems are not the result of excesses of drugs, alcohol, or even sex; they are from her choices-some good, some bad, but always her own. No apologies are given or needed.

If there is still any question about whether the digital revolution will produce a new aesthetic in filmmaking, the potency and power of Some Body is a clear vote in its favor.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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