A Better Man

A BETTER MAN (Attiya Khan, Lawrence Jackman,Canada). 79 minutes. Rating: NNN The premise is compelling: a survivor (co-director Attiya Khan) reconnects.


A BETTER MAN (Attiya Khan, Lawrence Jackman,Canada). 79 minutes. Rating: NNN


The premise is compelling: a survivor (co-director Attiya Khan) reconnects with her abusive ex-boyfriend Steve with the mission to let him know how she experienced the violence and make him accountable for it. He agrees to appear on camera, so you might assume she succeeds.

But no.

Khan is a riveting presence, and sequences where she and Steve return to the scenes of the crime – their apartment, their high school – are devastating. But the movie winds up being more about her and institutional neglect – their teachers knew there was trouble and said nothing – than about Steve’s life and what turned him into a woman beater. Many times, a therapist asks him where his anger came from, and he doesn’t answer.

His refusal to open up speaks to why it’s so hard to end violence against women. Useful, sure, but disappointing.

Apr 30, 6:30 pm, Isabel Bader May 1, 1:15 pm, Isabel Bader May 6, 4 pm, Scotiabank 3

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