Oct 1, 2022
Vanessa Cicarelli, Jason Greer
Jaramy Conners, Aimee Baker
An informative, moving and powerful documentary about author and poet Aimee Baker and her work.
This film is based on Baker's book Doe, which is a collection of poems that tell the stories of women in the United States who have disappeared or who were found dead and were never identified. As the only interviewee, Baker shares with the viewer her journey that led to the creation of Doe, explaining how and why she became interested in the subject of lost women and started writing about them. Listening to her story is rather fascinating and at times shocking, as terrible things that happened to a number of women are brought to light.
Baker describes several of the tragic cases that she wrote about in detail and as she speaks, reconstructions are shown that re-enact the events that took place on the day that particular person went missing. There are also sequences that contain texts of the poems, which are beautifully read by Raven Goodwin and Coco Jones. By utilising these techniques, the filmmakers familiarise the audience with Baker's work, with her writing style.
Due to the subject matter, the atmosphere is serious throughout and melancholic, which is supported by the score by Jackie Lee McLean, that includes a dramatic piano melody. There are a great deal of photographs and they include pictures of Baker when she was a child and posters about missing women, and looking at the photos of individuals whose lives were lost is heartbreaking.
The filmmakers do a fantastic job with the editing and there are numerous montage sequences throughout. Particular praise goes to the wonderful montage during the opening credits, which are accompanied by the song Jane, beautifully performed by Stephanie Quayle.
This is a memorable documentary that introduces the viewer to a creative individual and her admirable work, which is also dark at the same time due to its subject. It also raises awareness of violence against women in the United States and pays tribute to the ones who either vanished or were killed. The subject matter may not be for everyone, however this is a very well made film that grabs the audience's attention from start to finish.