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Things Behind the Sun
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Reviews & Ratings for
Things Behind the Sun More at IMDbPro »

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Wow

9/10
Author: Jim Houde
27 May 2002

This film knocked me for a loop. The acting is uniformly terrific and i believe it was filmed with digital cameras. There are two rape scenes that are to my mind the most realistic depictions i've ever seen. This is not rape as sex but rape as brutal violence. A few minutes in a childs life that stays with them for ever. The performances by Kim Dickens and Gabriel Mann as the adult rape victims are completely different yet both seem so true. I took this as a double rape even though one character was technically the rapist. I saw this movie on tv and at times you almost have to force yourself not to change channels. Watching the young Sherry walking away from the house after being raped, dragging her skate board, seems so real you feel like you are peeking through the curtains at someones real life pain. This is a very honest, painful movie and perhaps the best thing is the ending. No shinning light of salvation but a few glimmering shreds of hope for both the central characters. This one will stay with me for a long time.

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

The most excruciating story of rape...

8/10
Author: jonathanlander from Houston
25 March 2002

I've seen. Slow and painful this story gets into the psyche of the victims unlike most other stories treating the same subject. The stories and writing style of Joyce Carol Oates came to mind through the intentionally slow, methodical pacing revealing each layer of the painful retelling of the victims' stories.

Arquette gives a brilliant performance as does Cheedle and Stoltz. Gabrielle Mann comes off a little too 'waah, waah, Mr. Sensitive author' but there's an honesty that rings true in his performance and works nicely with the others.

I think the only way this movie could improve is to perform it on stage. It has an intimacy that could resonate much more effectively then on the screen. All in all, I highly recommend it.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Anders most fiercely personal film yet.

10/10
Author: suzy q123 from United States
6 March 2001

I was lucky enough to see this film at the Sundance film festival, where we gave Allison Anders a 5 minute standing ovation for what she's done with this film. The story is deceptively simple- a rock and roll chick who is pretty messed up for reasons that become clear when she hooks up with a young journalist- but it's the feelings that pierce and soar in this film. But it's not just a woman's story, the young man is also searching for (dare I say it) redemption. Filled with wonderful performances (why isn't Kim Dickens a star yet?) and even better cameos (Don Cheadle, Eric Stolz) this is a film that needs to be seen. One of the first, only, films that deals with sexual abuse and trauma and healing in a way that is both riveting and repulsive. And it has a great sound track! Go and see it!

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Wow...

10/10
Author: Terminal Madness (rpgforms@yahoo.com) from http://www.cinema-crazed.com
30 September 2002

Caught this movie on television. It shocked the daylights out of me. The performances and movie are incredible, but the shocking realism of the rape scenes are brutal and almost unwatchable. You will be tempted to shut this off when watching those poor girls being dragged into the rooms kicking and screaming for dear life while they're being gang raped, but dont. I didn't. A truly excellent movie. Don Cheadle is great in this as well. The scene most disturbing (noted by someone on this board) is watching that poor girl, after being raped, dragging herself through the streets, her skateboard dragging behind her. Wow. My jaw is still hanging from its hinges. THis is a good one.

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Hard subject matter sensitively portrayed

8/10
Author: MeanderingMegan from Seattle
3 August 2002

A compelling film. This film really touched my heart. While the film is certainly far from perfect, I thought it dealt wonderfully with the subject matter and showed such a sensitivity towards not only victims of violence but also towards how scars incurred in childhood can mar us forever.

Gabriel Mann was awesome in this. He gave the role such a conscience and it was nice to see him used fully as an actor as opposed to his rather less than full role in 'High Art' (which I happen to love nonetheless). But whereas High Art was Radha Mitchell and Ally Sheedy's film, this film really, for me, belonged to Mann. Kim Dickens did a great job also, but Mann still takes top billing in my book. My hat off to Allison Anders - it's nice to know that there are filmmakers out there that are not so concerned with commercialism as they are with substance and exploration. The fact that it says that the film is semi-autobiographical just makes me applaud her more. If you're into character studies and the way the past effects ones life, this is a movie worth seeing.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

haunting movie

Author: bruce-129 from Bay Area, CA, USA
12 July 2003



this movie is a real gem.

the story revolves around a young female singer who is starting to become famous and get some notoriety and comes to the attention of a rock and roll magazine.

the song that is making the charts is a song about the rape of this women. the woman, shelly played by kim dickens does not remember this act that changed her life so drastically.

coincidentally, a reporter at the magazine, owen, played by gabriel mann, knows shelly from back at the time of her rape, and is assigned to get s story on sherry.

things behind the sun is a movie of such deep feeling, heart, tragedy, and unconsciousness that it seems amazing that the performances could be so stellar and clear and the direction so perfect.

the story is one that really gets one thinking on a lot of different levels, and while i wondered about the reality of shelly's life, and how close that might be to the reality of a woman in that situation, it does not matter, because this movie catches ones thoughts in a very suspenseful way, without being cheap or exploitive. in terms of the story it is a work of genius in its ability to wind through the suspense and not take the low road anywhere.

great performances, great speculative story, and excellent music and all around authentic feel. at the end of this movie during the credits a song called "things behind the sun" is played over the credits that is so haunting that i had to find out what it was look it up and buy it. in case anyone is interested it is things behind the sun by nick drake, who apparently died when he was 24.

for what this movie is, it is perfect, and i rated it a 10, which is hard to do. what it loses in speculation, it makes up in sheer guts and courage to make this story.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Excellent

9/10
Author: spudonthesofa from Illinois
8 June 2002

It was such a painful movie, I don't know how to describe it. All I can say is that it was so well done that I was almost forced to watch it. I couldn't bring myself to change the channel. It was well written, well acted and well directed. Kim Dickens and Gabriel Mann did an astounding job portraying the victims. I could feel Sherri's pain like it was my own and I felt pain for Owen, as well. The only thing I felt could have been done differently is that Owen was just as much a victim as Sherri was. He was just a child at the time of the rape. How can he have been held responsible for something he didn't want any part of and was forced into by his sociopathic brother? He suffered for it, too. I understand why Sherri had trouble dealing with him up to a point but it seems that everyone involved forgot that he had been a defenseless child, too. I highly recommend this movie to anyone who's ever been a victim or knows a victim.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

What it means to live and care...

10/10
Author: solomon_grundy
28 March 2005

...is something Allison Anders expresses in her films, and wow, filming in the house where she herself was raped as a child shows her engagement with the movie. It's her compassionate and tough look at how many lives rape irreversibly affects. Films about rape or child molestation aren't probably going to be box office smashes anytime soon, but don't deny yourself this beautiful film just because the subject material is uncomfortable. Great dialogue, strong acting (especially by Kim Dickens and Don Cheadle), and the usual great script and direction by Alison Andres. Listen to the DVD commentary afterwards for more on this amazing film and the artist behind its creation, Ms. Andres.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

an excellent film!

10/10
Author: Nedzel from Chicago
13 May 2002

This is an excellent film about a very difficult subject. All the performances were great as was the script. I thought the scenes of the rapes were very well handled. I give full credit to all those associated with this film. Too bad Don Cheadle lost to Steve Buscemi at the Independent Spirit Awards!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Powerful - Significant Film with excellent performances.

Author: Diedre from Arizona
3 March 2002

One of the favorites at the Sedona Film festival. Hoping this important film gets a broad distribution. Outstanding performances, well written, everything comes together in a powerful yet disturbingly emotional manner. Cheadle's kitchen scene was phenomenal. Must see!

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