“Kind Hearted Woman” is not only a documentary that traces the life of a woman who has grown up from sexually abused child and then married a person who molested their underage daughter. It’s stylistically recently appeared and masterfully realized by Sutherland combination of two cinematic genres – documentary and fiction film.
The magic of Sutherland’s directing is in his creative ability to make real people representing themselves in the circumstances of their life, to act very often tormenting emotions with sincerity, genuineness and expressiveness which usually only subtle professional actors can do in front of a camera. This miracle is created not only with adults but also with children who act themselves without entertaining accents and sentimental exaggerations. It would be very interesting to know how the director achieves this result, what is his method of working with non-professional actors. One of the reasons can be the intensity of these people’s suffering in real life situations and predicaments that the film projects onto the screen. The reality and the degree of their suffering could make any commercial appeal on the part of the characters-performers, any artificiality or fakery – to be felt by them as a blasphemous betrayal of the truth. Can its majesty-life transform a regular person into a talented actor? Or the talent was there never suspected in its existence until the director noticed it?
Sutherland takes the viewers through the heroine’s court battles for the custody of her children and through the especially tormenting child sex abuse trial. We witness an incredibly difficult life of a woman fighting not only for justice and truth but with her own traumatic past experiences and how she before our eyes is becoming spiritually stronger than her ordeals and her demons. And we see the agonizing emotional experiences of her adolescent children who with their mother’s help are also able to conquer and triumph over their predicaments.
“Kind-hearted Woman” is a film about the heroism of personal overcoming, about the heroine’s victory not only over herself, but over the factual world for the sake of building the world in the name of human life.
Today it is very difficult, almost impossible to make a serious and truthful fiction film – amidst the condition of the world hooked on profit as the countries are on weapons, as politicians – on money and philistines – on entertainment. David Sutherland is among those who show the way – that is a creative fusion of documentary, fiction and honesty.