Directed by: Sam Hurwitz
Written by: #SamHurwitz
A common thread that connects us all as human beings is the inevitably that we will all experience great sadness, pain or loss at some point in our lives. Tragedy is a force that does not recognise age, race, gender or religion and documentary 8 Broken Hearts from filmmaker Sam Hurwitz is a simple but brilliantly crafted look at how people from all backgrounds go through and deal with these experiences.
Over the course of the #documentary film we hear stories from eight individuals from all different walks of life, with each having had to deal with immense heartache at some point in their past. There are stories from Rose, Patrick and Amber, who have felt completely alone and abandoned after the loss of a loved one. Erica, Suzanne and Jon recount the struggles of growing up with parents suffering with addictions to drugs or alcohol, and Tony and Rico, who suffered terrible upbringings filled with abuse and loneliness.
Each tells the story of their own personal heartbreak, but also how they have overcome those difficulties to be the person they are today and the appreciation they now have for life.
The structure of the film is split into three parts. The first consists of stories from four of the individuals, the second acts allows the same opportunity to the other four, while the third part is a culmination of all these stories. By spacing out and allowing breathing room between each of the stories, it avoids confusion for the viewer and gives them the opportunity to really listen to each one. It is a structure that not only does justice to the film itself, but also to each of the people being interviewed, with each getting the time to tell their story properly giving them the attention and respect they deserve.
From a filmmaking perspective, there are no gimmicks in 8 Broken Hearts, no heavy production values, nothing except the subject and the camera. This approach is exactly what the film needs, letting the emotions and words make their impact as the subjects bare their souls in front of the camera, shaping the whole process into both a raw emotional interview as well as a cathartic form of therapy not just for them but for the us as viewers as well.
8 Broken Hearts is a film teeming with sadness but is equally as full of strength and hope.
No matter our background, race or upbringing, each one of us can experience heartache and difficulties in life, but these brave individuals highlight the strength of the human spirit and what we can achieve if we manage to overcome our struggles. There are moments that will make you well up, smile and even laugh as Hurwitz’s film takes us on a journey through the human soul.