Chained For Life (2018)


Aaron Schimberg’s impressive second feature is his response, as a filmmaker with facial deformity, to cinematic portrayals of disfigured people, from Freaks to The Elephant Man. Simultaneously empathetic and sardonic, Chained for Life’s multi-layered meta narrative casts Jess Weixler (Teeth) as Mabel, a well-intentioned Hollywood star. She takes the role of a blind woman in a hospital-based horror movie about abnormalities, directed by an egomaniacal German auteur. As shooting progresses, Mabel gradually falls for friendly British co-star Rosenthal, played by Under the Skin actor Adam Pearson, who has neurofibromatosis. Writer-director Schimberg challenges you to think about representation and exploitation whilst refusing to offer up any simplistic answers, while also paying homage to previous film-within-a-film-practitioners from Fassbinder to the Muppets. – Manish Agarwal

“Bizarre and beautiful. Leaves us on thrillingly shifty ground.” THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“A remarkable mind trip of a movie. Sure to leave audiences reeling.” INDIEWIRE

“An intoxicating whirlwind of ideas, spectacularly moving and entertaining. Chained For Life could be a defining film about representation for any group that Hollywood marginalises” BIRTH MOVIES DEATH

“Extraordinary – a cinematic revolution” THE NEW YORKER

“Razor sharp. Mesmerisingly close to the sensation of a waking dream” VILLAGE VOICE


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