With this recreation of PTSD comes the extremely graphic revenge Miriam plays on Dylan, which is filmed in a wide shot. The camera is placed at a distance from the violence, but also makes sure to capture every cut and every moment; the viewer must experience each agonizing moment of this process. The camera never looks away either, providing a seamless scene of the steps involved in dismembering a man, from draining his blood to cooking the bones. There is no quick shot or quick castration. Instead, Sims-Fewer and Mancinelli want the viewer to confront this reality of murder and what it means not only to do the act, but to clean it up to protect you.
While the majority of rape and revenge films are told through the lens of a survivor confronting his rapist, Joe Lawlor and Christine Malloy’s “Rose Plays Julie” is a rare film that examines rape from the point of view of sight of a child who was the product of such trauma. . Rose (Ann Skelly) is a veterinary student who feels like she has no anchor for her identity after finding out she has been adopted. But when she reunites with her birth mother, Ellen (Orla Brady), they both face a violent past. Rose’s father raped Ellen, and in trying to bury her pain, Ellen put Rose up for adoption. By removing Rose from her life, Ellen figured that she might then remove this part of her past. But, of course, the trauma cannot be simply brushed under the rug.
“Rose Plays Julie” is about both rape-revenge and multigenerational trauma, as Ellen and Rose work together to understand how their relationship and identity are defined by violence. The trauma is compounded by the grief of lost potential and love, as Rose mourns a mother who could have been and Ellen mourns her life before the trauma and loss of a daughter. No excuse can bring about an emotional reunion filled with hugs and making up for lost time. Instead, they start a difficult alliance as Rose tries to meet her father and help get justice for his actions all those years ago.