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Every Day After (2023)

An abandoned young boy with medical issues, Jary, is left to his older sister, a young woman who has problems and fears of her own. Every Day After is a story about this brother-sister duo, as the sister pushes aside all of her fears, all of her aspirations in order to find her brother a better life. Every Day After is ultimately a story of sacrifice–one that should resonate with viewers everywhere.

Again, Every Day After, at its core, is a film about sacrifice and the lengths that we are willing to go to in order to ensure that our loved ones are happy and healthy. This is what initially reels in viewers and allows them to appreciate the film. It’s simple sentiment, and, overall, Every Day After is a rather simple film. With that the film remains easily accessible.

What Writer-Director Elisa Gambino does with Every Day After that is incredibly interesting is that fact that she often turns it into this semi-psychedelic adventure in which Jary and his sister find themselves dancing in a rave-like environment, one that absorbs viewers in the best way possible. Flashing lights, electronic music, and the fluid motions of Jary and his sister help to create a party, one that is inviting, one that allows viewers to see the lighter side of all that is taking place. Every Day After is a harrowing tale of sacrifice, love, loss, and more–and in order for Gambino to find success, she has to create a balance, create something that doesn’t force viewers over the edge. Jary is the perfect person to make this a reality–as he, as troubled as his life has been, breathes something light and accessible into the production. These moments are perfect, the absolute best way to present this family to the world and keep viewers engaged.

Opposite the flashing lights and vibrant music, however, is the rest of the film. The entirety of Every Day After is filmed in black and white–and that creates a somber tone. What it also does is create intimacy, as there is rarely anything distracting from the subjects of the film. Viewers are forced to focus on Jary and his sister, and as it never veers from its linear story, viewers are able to follow along easily. Using simple techniques, Gambino knows how to reach her audience, how to instill dismay and fear in her viewers throughout. She accomplishes her goal, and she constantly reminds viewers of the harrowing reality that both Jary and his sister face on a regular basis. She also reminds us that we have it better than we sometimes think we do.

For the most part Every Day After is incredibly straightforward, but Gambino does something that allows it to differ so greatly from other documentaries. That thing is inviting us into Jary’s home for a dance party, one that is seen multiple times throughout the short documentary, one that best demonstrates who and what this young man is. He’s more than his struggles, and so is his sister, and this is the best way to express this to viewers. In the somber moments, the film can become challenging–boring for some and too emotional for others, and Every Day After finds great balance in these electric moments–effectively catapulting it toward success.

Written & Directed by Elisa Gambino.




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