Trigger warning: drug-assisted rape
In Tunde Kelani’s new short film To Live Again, a teenage girl reckons with her rape experience. Suicidal thoughts and becoming mute, she is admitted into a mental clinic where she receives visits from her school’s counsellor. On a runtime of 16 minutes, the film largely pivots to a video played in front of our rape victim protagonist by the counsellor: the video shows a high school girl narrating her own experience, drugged and raped by her school boyfriend.
What makes To Live Again interesting is that it focuses on teenage girls as a vulnerable social group in relation with rape. Sometimes the films gets preachy and pontificates, reeling out dooming, anxiety-inducing statistics on rape affecting girls and women. But the heart of the film is in a good place. As viewers will later see, our teenage rape survivor embarks on her journey of recovery, which rape victims tend to struggle with when they lack psychosocial support or counselling.
Written by Yinka Egbokhare and stars Bukky Ogunnote, Bunmi Odejimi, Sunkanmi Odejimi and Adebimpe Olaintan, Kelani’s film confronts teenage rape as a social problem and a helpful tool for rape victims seeking recovery.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies, anime and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.