In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
The dysfunctional twenty-three years old Sarah takes her six year old natural son Jeremiah from the home of his beloved foster parents with the support of the social service to live with her. Along the years, the boy shares her insane and lowlife style and is introduced to booze and drugs and mentally, physically and sexually abused by Sarah, her lovers and her religiously fanatic family. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The competition for who had the worst childhood is now definitely over. "The Heart Is Deceitful, Above All Things" is based on the childhood experiences of author JT Leroy, whose childhood basically seems to have been an unending marathon of all the imaginable kinds of child abuse, with a few types of abuse no sane person can contemplate thrown in.
To me, this film is mainly a testament for the ability of children to adapt to just about any kind of circumstances, no matter how horrific of even inhuman they may be. As a former abused child (although the abuse I experienced as a child was nowhere near as horrific as the torment Jeremiah experiences in this film) I can definitely identify with his character. Kids can adapt to any situation, although the scars never fully heal later in life, even if you manage to escape into a better life.
Asia Argento's acting and direction both leave a lot to be desired, but all in all the end result is in definitely on the positive side. I'll look forward to her next film.
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