Visions du Réel Review: Chaylla


According to the World Health Organisation, one-in-three women have experience physical or sexual violence at some stage in their lives. This frightening statistic hammers home just how endemic the problem it is in almost every country in the world. That’s before you even take into account the damage caused by verbal abuse and controlling behaviour. The problem is men. The problem almost always is men.

Domestic violence isn’t just about physical harm, it’s much more than that. Given there’s usually a power dynamic at play, it’s not easy for the woman to simply up sticks and leave. There are so many other factors. Other pressures. Especially when there’s a child involved. Chaylla is fighting to do what is right for her children and leave their abusive partner for good. However, the biggest struggle is with herself. Her story is captured in Clara Teper & Paul Pirritano’s eponymous film.

Chaylla is a moving and complex portrait of a woman who is desperately trying to escape an abusive relationship, but has to battle the twin evils of an unsupportive legal system and her own demons to find freedom.  With the aid of her mother-in-law, she has a real chance but it’s a constant struggle. Chaylla is an intimate documentary which observes both her journey through the courts and her homelife. Letting her words and experiences tell the story.

Chaylla screens at Visions du Réel.

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