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Young Film Critics review First Light films

I'm Here (Lizzie's review)

Strikingly powerful, I’m Here zooms in on a group of frank, articulate teenagers in care, who instantly grab your attention and don’t relinquish it. Shuffled in between their short bursts of casual conversation and eye-catching photo montages is a grainy, camera-phone-filmed, whistle-stop tour of their home. Edgy photos, catchy music, and fun transitions kick up the pace, making this three-minute film whirl by.

When the teenagers talk, humour and seriousness take turns on the screen, with pithy remarks and Tracey Beaker-mocking “bog offfffs” placed alongside discussions about the recurring emotional rollercoaster they ride. Their first-hand testimony packs a big punch, and leaves the viewer with a strong taste of both the highs and lows and everyday facts of life in care. Among the flash-by sequences, these discussions are spontaneous, raw, and very thought-provoking.

The energy evident in the swift pace sweeps the viewer along, and is perhaps the stand-out characteristic of the film. Whilst not shying away from the tougher aspects of care, this mature and astute documentary manages to be vivaciously upbeat and informative; everyone should see it.

Review by Lizzie Daniels

Watch the full film and the other nominees on the First Light website.