Hot Docs 2023: Our Review of ‘All You See’

Posted in Hot Docs 2023 by - May 04, 2023
Hot Docs 2023: Our Review of ‘All You See’

Nelson Mandela once said that no one is born hating another person. All You See doesn’t show the opposite of that but it shows a spectrum, capturing how people start treating certain individuals as the other at a young age. One of its subjects is a girl who moves from Britain to the Netherlands. She and her fellow Dutch classmates go on a trip where she tries to talk to two girls who ignore her. This documentary, through contemporaneous footage and interviews, show how its four subjects – three girls and one women who are immigrants and refugees – feel this otherness. It also does this by putting its subjects in these windowless rooms. These scenes are open to interpretation which is a nice way of saying that I’m not the biggest fan of these scenes. The documentary also has for subjects but strangely, I can only remember three of them.

As I write this though, the documentary uses its other elements wisely to show how Dutch society lets or doesn’t let these girls and women fit in. The interviews are ace here, as it peels back what’s underneath that sense of otherness that they feel. That otherness comes from their sense of identity which forms just as young as realizing that they’re either in the in group or out. The British girl, of example, knows which of her friends she misses. One way of interpreting the rooms is that it shows those scenes in contrast with the empty streets of Rotterdam, where a Dutch-Somali woman bought a house. The conversation between her and director Niki Padidar have them rattling off the microaggressions they feel within Dutch and thus Western society. Padidar didn’t make a perfect documentary. Despite that, she still captures certain truths about the immigrant and refugee experience.

  • Release Date: 5/04/2023
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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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