TIFF 2022: “Sweet As”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

In the digital world, the new generation hardly knows how to connect; ring people up for the right purpose and engage with others. On top of everything, when there are challenges within a family, it seems there is no other way to escape other than turning into defensive mode, where a self-centered attitude appears to be the mechanism to fight back.

Murra, a 15-year-old girl knows her mom as someone who loves to party hard. She is sent to her room to avoid drunk adult males. As soon as she gets out of her space, an ugly world resurfaces. Her uncle, who happens to be a police officer, registers Murra for a week-long trip for troubled youth. During her trip, she is not allowed to have her cellphone with her and rather has to concentrate on what nature offers along with the lens of camera that must capture the surrounding beauty. During the trip, Murra meets other teenagers that are as troubled as her but in their own way. But it is by facing different personalities and great leadership the girl will learn to kick the pain out of her heart and find a way to heal and forgive.

I must say, in the world we live in right now that’s uncompromising, rough and full of uncertainty, films like “Sweet As” give us hope. Jub Clerc does an amazing job by capturing the pain of an injured soul that does not believe in a bright future. Murra thinks she is not going to be ok. Because how it could be? But the road trip into photography opens up her mind. Not right away though. At times, you can see she does not care about her peers. She wants to be visible; active and easily noticable. But that’s because she always saw herself in the shadows. As part of her therapy, she searches for opportunities to express herself through her camera. It is hot and humid in the Pilbara region, but the outcome is worthwhile.

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