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“Disfluency,” a new short film from director Laura Holliday, starts with a university lecture on conversational speech. The professor points out that we often stutter, pause, or use filler words in our conversations. As he speaks, his lecture is intercut with scenes of Jane (Libe Barer), a young college student, doing all of those things as she goes about her daily life.
Her repeated use of the phrase “I’m sorry” is the eponymous disfluency: often unnoticed interruptions in the otherwise smooth flow of speech.
Jane - Party - Aftermath - Disfluency - One
Shortly after, Jane is raped at a party. The aftermath of this becomes her new disfluency; no one knows what happened. She can’t bring herself to admit it, to her friends, her boyfriend, or even herself. Whenever she tries to speak, she pauses or simply apologizes again.
These feelings of shame and isolation are typical of any sexual assault story. Where “Disfluency” diverges from the norm, however,...
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"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything." - Alexander Hamilton