Synopsis by Bhob Stewart
Singer-songwriter Sophie B. Hawkins attracted music-industry attention with her debut album Tongues and Tails (1992). Observing Hawkins rehearsal for a 1996 30-city tour, filmmaker Gigi Gaston proposed this potent documentary which includes over 20 Hawkins songs, along with the revelatory recollection of painful memories by the singer. Gaston (in her directorial debut) followed Hawkins back to her New York roots, where she left home at age 14 to live with a Nigerian drummer/artist while studying at Manhattan's School of Music. Seven hours of footage was shot of Hawkins talking with her mother, who discussed Sophie's anorexia, her fear of sex, her unhappy relationships, and the revelation of her sex abuse at age 10. Finding herself entangled in Gaston's "web of documentary," Hawkins says it led her to overcome her guilt and fear ( re: "a side of me I never wanted to know existed"), but legal threats by the abuser nearly put the footage on the shelf until sound effects were inserted to obliterate the abuser's name. The mother states her "great sadness about Sophie is not being able to have an emotional intimacy or connection with her." This 90-minute film, which impacted on the life of its subject, had its world premiere at the 1998 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Film Festival.
abuse, anorexia-nervosa, artist, intimacy, memory, revelation, singer, songwriter