Is It Me? – Short Film Review

Body dysmorphia takes centre stage in this highly visual examination of the selves we invent to navigate the world.

In this 10-minute documentary, we enter Emma Russer’s bedroom and mind as we see her show off her fashion and creations, to then strip down the colour and patterns to see the truth behind her latest idea. Born in the 80s, she uses the styles and bright lights of her childhood as an inspiration as well as her fears and insecurities.

Director Christopher McGill helps open the door to Russer’s life to let us see a new idea but how as viewers we can relate to her story and learn more about ourselves. Wearing a full beige body suit, long blonde extensions and crazy pink, plastic lips, Emma stands out in her outfit against the disco lights and people at the bar, but at the same time she doesn’t. We see her portray an emphasised version of the beauty standards expected of girls, even though she feels confident in the attire as she’s fully hidden from the world. I found her style and take on life, especially with kind words and teachings from her mum, so bright and colourful, even if it came from a dark place. With McGill’s direction on top, this documentary is powerful and thought provoking for whoever might watch it.

Emma’s wardrobe is her happy place, just wanting to dress up and be carefree and wild, but society will always put pressures on us which we then emphasise and put on ourselves again and again. Is It Me? is a wonderfully simple documentary with such an important meaning that I feel anyone could consume and look at the world differently after watching.

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