You See Me (2015) Poster

(2015)

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9/10
Strong, powerful filmmaking!!!
arterybg24 August 2016
This underrated gem gets to the core of the family values, issues and their imprints on our souls. The happiness and the bitterness we share with our siblings and parents. Why they matter to us, do we carefully appreciate and cultivate these feelings and subtle moments shared with a loved one. In what manner we behave towards and treat a family member, and what does it do to us in the future. Are we always open and sharing our love? What could our fear of showing our love in full do to the other person? Is it monstrous to not always hug and kiss your child? Don't we all just do what has been done to us? Maybe somewhere in there there's the strongest love in the coldest looking person. Or maybe not.. This strong and beautiful film explores these topics with a surprising depth. I wish that more people could see it. I saw it. And I'm glad.
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10/10
A must see film!
jared-5838612 May 2016
You See Me takes you on a journey of life, family, and vulnerability that exposes what so many families have experienced and yet has the courage to share it and expose it. The vulnerability and courage of the filmmaker to bring us into her world is raw, inspiring, and will make you see your own childhood in a new light, if you have the courage to face it , as she did. To many times in childhood we experience things that are wrong but we think they are right because that's all we know, however, when faced with the truth and understanding that things were not right, you have to decide how you will deal with it and if you will except it. This film not only took me on a journey, but also made me face my own demons with courage and honesty. A must see film!
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10/10
You See Me: a Revelation of a Film
loismark12 July 2015
You See Me is personal documentary filmmaking at its best, an intimate, unflinching family portrait, populated by complex and sympathetic characters (including the filmmaker herself). There has not been a feature narrative film this year more compelling or more richly nuanced.

At the center of the film is a man who has experienced a debilitating stroke, a man who has never been able to express his feelings for his family and for whom time is now running out. As we watch his wife and children struggle to care for him, You See Me peels back layer after layer of history and character to reveal the secrets of the heart within.
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10/10
Thoughtful, with surprises, about a daughter and her sick father
KazuTakeda7 July 2015
A really thoughtful film of a woman dealing with her aging father's illness and the complexities of their relationship. 10 years in the making and well worth the wait! It's a situation any of us who are getting up in years can relate to, gaining some insight from the real- life experience of this talented filmmaker. The father's complex relationship with the three daughters and the mother, as well as the mother's relationships with the daughters, and the father's relationship with his own mother, is shown by the filmmaker's unflinching camera. The film is easy to follow and well-structured, and there are surprises that only a good documentary can provide. You won't regret going through this experience with this filmmaker!
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9/10
A Complicated Language
Micro5932 July 2019
There's a moment early on in Linda Brown's fascinating film, YOU SEE ME, of old footage being shown of her and her sister dressed up as husband and wife when they were kids. The two of them are performing for the camera, ultimately portraying their parents hug, dance, kiss, and fight. It's an incredibly engaging and deep moment because Brown has provided us the ability to look closer. On the surface, we see two siblings playing House. On another level, they may be expressing an emotional disconnect they've witnessed in their parents. How often do we hide emotions? Can we find the moments in our lives where we most represent ourselves? Is it more beneficial to ignore the times when you're least yourself, or more harmful?

Stanley Brown, Linda's father has had a stroke. It's left him with walking and talking as the challenge. Reminiscing through footage, Linda seeks to answer who her father really was, and what challenges he faced before the stroke. But as the film travels through more and more footage and photos of her parents' era, the mystery continues to grow farther from any catharsis. His entire speech to his friends and family during his 50th wedding anniversary is "I've worked hard all my life for one thing, for a higher education for my children. I didn't have it. That's about it."

The ongoing theme of Stanley is he shows as little emotion as needed. Yet he strikes you as someone you could easily talk to. Linda even expresses how she was more drawn to him growing up than her mother. It makes sense. He's lively and energetic, as long as the conversation didn't involve him. So what would it take to get a man like Stanley to say the words, "I love you"?

Natalie, Linda's mother, hints at her shy personality not necessarily helping her understand who her husband was underneath. Perhaps because of his upbringing he doesn't see a need for it. His mother had to raise him on her own, and it wasn't until he was sixteen he was told his real last name. You get the feeling that the heart-to-heart types of conversations, ones that came to a mutual understanding of love or fear, as needed as they are for someone like Stanley and everyone around him, were avoided, few, and far between. This film is on a hunt for what to make of those few moments.

Linda reminisces with her three siblings of times when their father would get physical with them and their mother. She even describes to her sister the heartbreaking memory of having to stand between her parents, to take the hit for her mother. "That's our role," is what they agreed upon that day, though simultaneously the Browns have no reason to think of Stanley as a cruel man.

It's clear Stanley's life and behavior have always peaked his family's interest. Linda shows footage of a previous documentary about her father, YOUR FAVORITE from 1984, in which she interviews Stanley directly, discussing how he was known to not show much affection for his children. The footage shows an uncomfortable closeup of a man so distant and so inaccessible he rarely looks up from the floor. The answer to his daughter's questions primarily is "I don't know." If YOUR FAVORITE was Linda's attempt to understanding her father, even just a little, YOU SEE ME shows just how tall and wide he's built a wall around himself, and that Linda must dig deeper than interviewing him to get in.

There's an uncanny similarity between Stanley Brown and my own grandfather. He didn't have strong parental figures, nor did he treat his four children with much affection, and he couldn't utter the words, "I love you," to his wife until his first child was ten years of age. Though, similar to Stanley, nothing in his world came close to his devotion for them. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to have a particular conversation. Affection in itself can be an entirely different language. And what seems like the final piece of an unsolved puzzle, YOU SEE ME's powerful bittersweet ending proves Stanley was never unwilling or incapable of affection. It's that he has to speak an unknown language over a wall to do so.
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9/10
Intensely Honest
briasmit-5568313 May 2020
Warning: Spoilers
There was a part of me that expected the sort of sugar coating that comes naturally with reflecting on someone who has passed. Death tends to rub dull all the little hurts. So I was really surprised to see how honest this film was, both in its assessment of various family members as well as with Linda's own self doubt. At times it was even painful to see, as we as the audience became privy to the sort of information that we may have had trouble swallowing were it to come up within our own lives. Her father's pain that he constantly hoped to suffocate, and how it manifested with his own need to be loved was hard to take. Her mother as well struggled so much, and some of her siblings had trouble rectifying this image they had of their father with certain painful events in their past. Somehow in its specificity and honesty, I think that the movie becomes very relatable. I found that many of the questions Linda asked were similar to questions I had asked my own family. Even the particular hurt that her parents shared I think is somehow consistent with so many of their generation. I think that it lies within this commitment to silence, and forcing hurt into these little corners that feel easy to maintain until they suddenly explode. So was Linda right to delve so deeply into things they didn't particularly want to share? I can't help but think so; understanding the ways in which our family members hurt and have been hurt feels so key to self reflection.

In the end, even the "clean" ending doesn't feel particularly clean, which feels apt. Though this amazing tape was found, her mother has trouble accepting his words when his last moments had been so cruel. And I think that there was never going to be any neatness or clean answers when it came to this story, That simply isn't how life works, and I think that giving into that messiness is what made this film so enjoyable.
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10/10
A deeply honest and relatable documentary film about family.
hannahgkelley-5667527 August 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Have you ever wondered whether you family has any secrets from the past? Filmmaker Linda Brown embarks on a journey to learn more about her father as he nears the final days of his life. In this documentary, you will find mystery, heartbreak, and hopefulness. This film takes the viewer on a journey of forgiveness and understanding towards the end, and is a refreshing reminder that someone we love can be both flawed and good.
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9/10
Home Movies Are The most Organic Form of Physical Evidence
rhonda-7312 September 2016
You See Me , by Linda Brown utilized family home movies to punctuate the

"in the moment" family dynamics of the family growing up that makes this film

so touching. The insight of these personal films as they are woven into the fabric of the narrative gives the viewer an eye opening look into the power of a home movie archive in personal story telling. It is a look back through the lens to the roles that the various family members played when the children were young and how these roles have evolved.

This is a wonderful film for all of us dealing with our elderly family members , and Health Care Organizations helping families through a medical transition with their loved ones.
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10/10
A touching, powerful story tackling the complexities of family.
cprangemorgan24 October 2021
You See Me is a powerful autobiographical documentary which targets the complexities of family and all it's messiness. This isn't Disney or Hallmark. It's touching and it's real.

Linda does a fantastic job bringing watchers into her family in a way which makes us feel like we're a part of what's happening. I felt so many feelings. Sadness, hope, anger, grief, but most of all tenderness and empathy for a man and a family trying desperately to make their way in a world tainted by a painful past.

All families are complex. You See Me exposes the tender complexities life imparts through generations of family secrets, and helps us ask the bigger questions about loyalty, love and longing. It challenges us to ask what love is and what it looks like through the eyes of a dedicated husband and father who is fragile, flawed and human. We need more stories like this that show the true, multifaced, complex nature of family systems and the importance of looking back through the lens of compassion.
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10/10
An instant classic about family, secrets, and things left unsaid
marientina22 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
**spoiler alert**

You See Me is the quintessential portrait of an American family facing an acute health crisis and its long-term repercussions. Linda Brown's father experiences a debilitating stroke and his family rallies around him. The stroke becomes a magnifying lens for all the strong and weak points of their family unit. The documentary is not shy of pinpointing those weak points, including family secrets and unanswered questions, but the Brown's family love and tenderness are also hiding in plain sight. Blink and you may miss it if you get lost in the tragedy of disability or family secrets. Listen and you will hear it in Linda Brown's existential crisis while she seeks to make sense of her father's life. Linda Brown hounds her father for an answer she unknowingly holds inside her: does her father love her? In the end, she finds the answer to the only question that matters: did her father find happiness in his life? That is the only answer that separates a hero from a tragic figure. Without spoiling the end, by watching this film one can launch many discussions about family, illness, end-of-life, a well-lived life, and the nature of grief and loss. More importantly, one can revisit what the influential pediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott wrote about in the 1950s: what is a "good enough mother" and by extension, what is a "good enough" father, and a "good enough" family? The answer may surprise you.
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9/10
very personal and very universal
uricaru31 August 2015
It takes a lot of courage to put out there - on the very public screen - the deepest folds and creases of a relationship between an adult daughter and her now elderly father. The father's stroke triggers the daughter's instinct of getting closer to him, taking care of him, but also it inevitably brings out her pains that were never acknowledged and the questions that were never answered. It's almost unfair to realize that by the time we feel entitled and capable enough to confront and question our parents, it is usually too late and we cannot get any answers. Linda Brown searches everywhere - in her soul, in her relationship with her father, in the past of her family and in her childhood experiences the answer - or rather a narrative - that would make sense of all the things that are lost, as well as of the imminent and inevitable loss of the father with whom the story has not yet found closure. The title suggests the fundamental need to be seen, as well as the impulse to see - in the sense of finding the truth - and we are privileged to have access to Linda's no-holds-barred search for both those ways of seeing.
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10/10
Chronicles the recovery of a stroke victim
mclaughlinfam12 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Linda learns that her father, Stan, has suffered a stroke and returns to her Pennsylvania home to be with him and her family. Stan's fight to recover is chronicled along with the effects his illness has on those around him. Through interviews with her mother, sisters and brother, the history of the family is explored as this new chapter in their lives unfolds. Some of what is revealed is joyful, some of it disturbing but all of it is honest. This film will speak to anyone who has ever cared for someone with a chronic condition. It examines the effect that one person's illness has on those around him and the sometimes harsh realities that family members must come to terms with. It explores Stan's life in the context of the family system he came from as well as the one he created and how everyone is changed in some way by what has happened.
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10/10
Bold filmmaking by an even bolder filmmaker.
addisonsandoval9 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
With You See Me, filmmaker Linda Brown has created a remarkable film that transcends the traditional cinematic experience. You See Me explores the complex relationship between Brown and her father as well as with the people she grew up with through the tender, articulate, and in many ways, spiritual lens of her camera.

Sitting at Grauman's Chinese watching the film for the first time, I quickly became engrossed by the images flashing before the screen of a little tomboy playing with her sisters or fishing with her father as if time and space had come to a halt. It was a fitting piece to a tapestry that would comprise worlds collided, but never a bond divided.

With uncompromising uprightness and impacting immediacy, You See Me removes all boundaries into the human condition. In so doing, the film becomes a force for showing that by the nature of our being, man is so powerful, but at the same time, he never ceases to be as frail as he was on the day of his birth.

Perhaps most importantly, You See Me offers a bold thought for our consideration: if it is too far-fetched in this day and age to believe that love, once rooted, can, will, and should, endure.
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10/10
Deeply personal and poignant
rsimonsen7 July 2015
This is the true story of the Brown Family and how they are forced to deal with the wake of their patriarch's stroke. He is a strong personality and use to being in-charge of himself and his family. It is told over the course of many years by use of archival and new found footage. You See Me is a refreshingly honest and deeply poignant tale. It is a heartfelt look at generational issues over time. It recounts the courage, tenacity and change that is required when a family member, who is typically the leader, becomes ill and must learn to be cared for by others. A tale of forgiveness and love with enough unexpected twists to keep you watching. I enjoyed it immensely.
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8/10
The powerful journey of a family as it faces life's true challenges
kosmodog8 July 2015
"You See Me" is a moving journey through the universal experience of caring for our loved ones as they face the challenge of health and mortality.

Linda Brown has crafted an excellent film that never loses our attention or our emotions. She has fearlessly invited us into her family and challenged us to remain and consider our own experience with parents who suffer the loss of health and power.

It is a sensitive and melancholy experience crafted with old visuals and new techniques that make the film engaging and artistically unique.

It is worth the journey.

Rob Kositchek
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10/10
You see me is an in-depth study of the inner workings of family, relationships, and the struggle for clarity and understanding in the midst of mental illness.
oshea-myles11 July 2015
You see me is an in-depth study of the inner workings of family, relationships, and the struggle for clarity and understanding in the midst of mental illness. It's a beautiful journey into the human condition which highlights our darkness as well as our light and how we cope with life's challenges with only the tools that we are given. We all can see ourselves in you see me and it is in the seeing, realizing and accepting that the healing can begin. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and recommend it as a must see. It is thoughtful, honest, beautiful and haunting at times. It will pull you in with it's mystery and leave you satisfied with seeing one journey completed and another just beginning. Thank you Linda.
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10/10
Brave, Honest, Candid Filmmaking
charlesleisenring6 August 2015
You See Me is a very personal piece of filmmaking. Linda Brown has spent years going through hundreds of hours of footage from varying formats... some of which she shot, the rest of which she was searching through.

Her searching was a personal journey of self-discovery, the goal of which was to find healing in her relationship with her father.

Anyone who has ever owned a camera and shot footage of their own private moments can imagine what it would be to look through hours of old footage and truthfully face what it might reveal, let alone to discover a narrative in it you would want to share with others.

Linda is unflinching in her honesty with this story, and her own questions and search for a way to heal her regrets and better understand her relationship with her Dad lead her to some unexpected places.

Following Linda through this journey, I believe most any viewer would be hard pressed not to have a very personal reaction to her life, her story, her film.
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10/10
A very heartfelt documentary, I would recommend it to everyone.
ShaunDixon31 July 2015
You See Me is refreshingly honest, and I really admire the courage to make this film. It confronts difficult aspects of family dynamics, but does so out of love, not bitterness. The film immediately grabbed my attention because it asks the tough questions we so often want to speak to our loved ones about but don't. It investigates the moments that define filmmaker Linda Brown's childhood, and her relationship with her father after he suffers a stroke. This sudden decline in his health focuses Linda and her family's attention on reexamining their father's life. I was captivated by the home videos woven into the narrative, like pieces of a puzzle, revealing a portrait of American life through the years. I briefly forgot that I was not a member of the Brown family but simply a lucky viewer that got to watch a great film. A very heartfelt documentary, I would recommend it to everyone.
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10/10
Raw and beautiful!
slin195 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This was such a raw display of emotions and I'm in awe of how Linda had the courage to convey the hardships her family went through in this beautiful film. It was full of nostalgia and love and acceptance of family, no matter what happens, through thick and thin, they're family.

I cried while watching it! Please watch this beautiful film :)
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10/10
A Psychological Masterpiece
thedreamwriter10 September 2015
A documentary ten years in the making, "You See Me" is made almost entirely of a family's home video footage, and its narrator is a daughter in the family. Unsuitable for the modern, stimulate-me-with-spectacle Hollywood audience, the filmmaker draws a portrait of her father that is deeply emotional without being sentimental. Her portrait shows the ways that a human being, born in a vacuum of love, cannot help but wound those that matter most to him, because he never learned to navigate a space of vulnerability. The early wounds of the filmmaker's father - desperate for the validation of his mother - closed quickly on him as scars, yet they managed to scar the family he was raising as well.

Remarkably, those scars are reopened when the filmmaker's father has a stroke, and - through the love of his wife and children - they are healed properly, beautifully, as can only happen when one is forgiven by those he injures. This documentary is a character study of the highest order, shedding light on the ways a single person can make all the difference in the world simply by being who he is.

By opening her home to us, Linda Brown has produced a psychological masterpiece that can only be understood through the complicated lens of family.
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10/10
profound, heartbreaking and heartwarming
saraalizecross28 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I saw You See Me and a Q&A with the filmmaker at a film festival this fall. The film is crafted beautifully - the story is an onion and as each layer is peeled away, another revelation feels like a punch in the gut. As a documentary filmmaker myself, I have tremendous respect for filmmakers who can use such deeply personal material to create a universally meaningful film. Anyone who has struggled with the failing health of an aging parent will identify with the filmmaker and anyone who has experienced complicated family dynamics will recognize their own family in the Brown family. You See Me is profoundly thought provoking, heartbreaking and heartwarming and I highly recommend it to viewers interested in quality documentary filmmaking. Make sure you have at least 3 tissues at the ready - you will need them.
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10/10
Insightful, moving and raw
anmakary27 November 2016
Throughout the course of history, people from all walks of life have pondered the complexities of familial love. You See Me is perhaps the best examination of that. I watched it months ago and the story resonates with me still. It is a carefully crafted demonstration of how deep relationships can can carry a lot of baggage and what it means to accept that baggage and. make do with what you have. So much personal insight into this one family had me forget I was a voyeur. It made me feel involved and I left the theater able to defend everyone's position. Documentaries nowadays struggle to attain an honest portrayal of all sides being presented, but You See Me managed this effortlessly with interviews and home video footage that really gave me a seat at their table.

I invite anyone in search of being understood by their loved ones to watch this film. It presents you with a wisdom about family that is all too often so hard to find.
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10/10
"You See Me" touches on a real life truth that's close to everyone no matter what your background.
kelleykali-usc9 September 2016
This film was so moving. It makes you really evaluate what is important and who is important in your life. We go about our daily lives sometimes taking family for granted and this film reminds us of how precious life and family truly are.

The commitment of the filmmaker, Linda Brown, to the documenting of this trying time in her family's life is worth watching alone. I went to one of the screenings and had the opportunity to hear her speak and I learned how many years went into making this film. Yes, many filmmakers spend years on films but how many of them document personal and extremely vulnerable moments of themselves and of their family while slowly watching a paramount member of that family pass away? Many of us would have put the camera down years ago or maybe never even picked it up.

Linda Brown, thank you for letting us into your family's life and gently reminding us to give flowers to those we love while they can smell them.
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9/10
See This
probestwo21 July 2015
For viewers that enjoy Moth storytelling events, listen to This American Life on radio or enjoy soul searching stories, You See Me will reward your curiosity. The story is a collage pieced together by Linda Brown from past family footage and current interviews. Speaking to the viewer throughout she takes you with her as she questions her Father's love in the last year's of his life. Like memories that get splintered and edited the further we get from an event, paring down the past footage to find the deepest story, she creates a new memory for herself and the viewer. The film is wonderfully crafted with intricate sound design and has a beautiful score supporting this journey. See it.
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10/10
A Must-See!
michelemmartin7 July 2015
This film touches on so many experiences in families--the damage that secrets can do, how illness and the process of dying can bring both wounding and healing. There were so many times while watching this that a burst of laughter would be followed almost immediately by tears. It captures so much of the pain and pleasure of life and in telling the story of Linda's father and her family, it tells a story that is really universal in so many ways. What really struck me the most was seeing so clearly how people who hurt are people who have been hurt and how that legacy of pain can be transferred from one generation to the next. Yet at the same time, in developing that understanding and revealing long-held secrets, wounds can be healed and families can be transformed. Definitely a must-see!
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