The Reunion Screen 4 articles

The Reunion

2013

The Reunion Poster
  • It shouldn't matter if you think it's an act of truth-telling and a blow against hypocrisy to attend your high-school reunion and spoil everyone's fun by ranting about all the times they bullied you when you were kids, or if you think (as I do) that it's selfish and smacks of entitlement. It shouldn't matter because a film should be alive to both possibilities... - but this one badly lacks that extra nuance, making its heroine too (self-)righteously victimised...

  • Odell never feels the need to spell out her motivations in making this strange and disquieting film. Does she want revenge on people that once made her feel powerless? Does she want to make them widen their scope of understanding? Or is she making a film for an audience using her past to enact a social message?

  • The truly strong first film was the festival’s most surprising and engaging work, artist Anna Odell’s The Reunion... The film suggests that society’s hierarchies are enforced from the earliest stage, and that individual freedom is often accompanied by acts of spiritual or physical self-mutilation.

  • That Odell decided to confront an issue this close to her in this fashion betrays, I think, her experience as an artist — it isn’t far removed, in terms of its boldness and capacity to provoke, from her most well-known art project, in which she acted out a mental breakdown on a busy public bridge. That her efforts are so effective, and so affecting, is a testament to the strength of these ideas and the courage of their conviction.