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So I Erased His Face

average rating is 4 out of 5


Amber Jackson


Posted on:

Dec 8, 2022

Film Reviews
So I Erased His Face
Directed by:
Yimeng Yuan
Written by:
Yimeng Yuan
Sophia Haslé and Benjamin Kauffman

Trigger warning for the film: abuse


So I Erased His Face is a twelve minute short drama that uncovers the traumatic wounds of an aspiring painter. Apparently inspired by true events, the female protagonist is wounded and worrisome as she must process very complex thoughts and emotions throughout the film. Saddening and with vulnerability, this is a delicately beautiful film that pairs aesthetics with grief to convey a strong message.


The painter is ultimately recovering from a toxic relationship which is understandably very upsetting. As a result, she has selectively forgotten moments of a toxic relationship much like a response to trauma. Yet at the same time, she still wants to remember fonder moments of this time perhaps in an attempt to make peace with what happened to her. This is all explored through her sensational artwork and a fixation on paint during every scene, which director Yimeng Yuan builds up to very quickly and thereby creating a kaleidoscope of imagery and expression for the viewer to gaze at.


Consistent metaphors of painting and artistry are constantly present in the film, as the artist speaks on the journey of conception to completion of a piece of art. It is a very quotable script mostly in part due to its intensity as every line is intended to be raw and palpable as we are invited to experience the painter’s life alongside her. This allows for the short to feel very avant-garde, as the camera intrudes upon the painter and holds our gaze obsessively on painting as well as following the characters interacting with the art. Yimeng Yuan allows us into the space, but also challenges us within it.


Atmospherically, the film feels foreboding and forlorn. Alongside the up-close-and-personal camera, most scenes being dimly lit is an intriguing contrast and makes the tone ominous. This is definitely explicit insight for the viewer with regards to how the painter feels. Likewise, it is a very quiet film, with some score that reflects a sombre mood. As the painter over-analyses past events and her responses to them, it is equal parts pensive and painful to see her struggle alone. Yet, it does not feel exploitative for her inner psyche to be deconstructed on screen, rather validating and empowering for her to share her story even though she has perhaps not come to terms with it.


This short film about abuse and agony is brilliant and challenging watch with the sensitive subject matter tackled on screen. Although painful for the protagonist, there is a slither of hope for her future that the viewer must hold on to. Ultimately, So I Erased His Face is a very moving and powerful watch.

About the Film Critic
Amber Jackson
Amber Jackson
Short Film
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