Hot Docs Review: Self(less) Portrait (2014) – or – Unhappy human race

Self(less) Portrait reviewDirector Danic Champoux shines the light directly on fifty individuals, willing to speak openly about whatever topic happens to come up. While we struggle to maintain some level of privacy in our social media driven world, these individuals remove those barriers, giving viewers a very intimate look at their lives. Nothing is off limits, and it seems that some of these people may be revealing more to the camera, than they’ve even revealed to themselves.

While Self(less) Portrait is an incredibly interesting concept, the final product has mixed results. There’s absolutely no context to the conversations, whether Champoux initiated the topics, or the subjects did, and to be honest, almost all of it is quite depressing. The film also has a creeping score, which sounds menacing, only making things seem worse, even if they’re already sad enough.

People talk about suicide attempts, failed relationships, crumbling relationships, sexual assault, being disowned by their family, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. If Champoux is trying to say something about people in general, it seems to be that we’re either great at holding onto pain, or that there’s very little joy in the world. Few are the moments of happiness, which makes the film very difficult to sit through. It may be cathartic for the people involved, but it’s too much for an audience.

Is Self(less) Portrait Worth Watching?

Perhaps listening to people reveal some of their most emotionally destructive moments will excite audiences. Gossip exists almost solely for that reason, but to hear person after person talk about suicide, molestation, or the collapsing of their relationships for 90 minutes, is just too much.

Self(less) Portrait Screening Times

Self(less) Portrait Trailer

Self(less) Portrait Gallery

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