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My Eyes Are Up Here

average rating is 4 out of 5


William Hemingway


Posted on:

May 16, 2023

Film Reviews
My Eyes Are Up Here
Directed by:
Nathan Morris
Written by:
Aminder Virdee and Arthur Meek
Jillian Mercado, Ben Cura

You know how it is sometimes – you wake up with a sore head, all groggy and bleary eyed from the night before, the dry rasp in the back of your throat letting you know that most likely you've been snoring the whole night through, and you look over to see that there's an international model lying next to you, except that she isn't next to you any more because she's fallen out of bed onto the floor as she tried to sneak out early in the morning without waking you up. “My Eyes Are Up Here,” she says as you look down at her over the edge of the duvet, and rightly so, you shouldn't be ogling her nor helping her up without her asking you to, she's a strong, independent woman and she can do that herself.


This morning Tom (Cura) finds himself in exactly this situation and instead of helping he's parading around naked as Sonya (Mercado) gets herself dressed and into her wheelchair. She just wants to get out of there but Tom is keen on spending more time with Sonya, and oh yeah, there's the small issue of the condom having split. So the two fledgling love-birds set off on a journey to the pharmacy to track down the morning after pill whilst trying to get to know each other along the way.


The morning's travel plans are fraught with obstacles, however; as accessibility issues, preconceived notions, thinly veiled prejudices, well meaning but misplaced intentions and outright ignorance and bigotry all rear their ugly heads; which is all in a day's work for Sonya but now she has the awkward puppy-dog, Tom following her around and she's still not sure that she really wants him there.


From writers Aminder Virdee and Arthur Meek, My Eyes Are Up Here is based on lived experiences and therefore cuts to the chase when highlighting the realities of living as a disabled person. Sonya is fierce and indomitable, living her life on her own terms despite the difficulties that the able-bodied world heaps upon her, but even she gets overwhelmed sometimes and is reticent about opening up to someone new. Tom is the perfect foil as he bumbles about awkwardly, constantly tripping over the right thing to say and wondering about just how much assistance he should offer, but it's his genuineness, as well as his ability to listen to and treat Sonya as she asks to be treated, that shines through.


Director Nathan Morris handles everything superbly, bringing all aspects, from the editing, to the sound design, to the music together to tell Sonya's story with just the right amount of humour and gravity. He gets the best from his actors with both leads being excellent in their roles while also being professionally supported by the cast of secondary characters. Morris and the producers all worked hard to ensure that the Accessible Filmmaking (AFM) Guidelines were followed throughout the production of the film so that diversity and inclusion were at the forefront of the film-making process, both behind and in front of the camera, and this has led to a truly unique and genuine experience for the viewer.


My Eyes Are Up Here is a fun and important short that opens up a dialogue about diversity and inclusion in film but also in the wider world, too. It allows the audience to feel first-hand just how many daily battles are fought, inside the mind as well as outside in the community, by disabled people who just want to get on with their lives and how important it is for the able-bodied world to start thinking and behaving like allies – or, you know, just regular, compassionate people.

About the Film Critic
William Hemingway
William Hemingway
Short Film
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