One of the most significant parts of life is adapting to change. Lord knows we’ve had to do just that this past year. In Rosie Westhoff’s short film, Our Sister, a pair of sisters must find a way to adapt after their other sister’s death.
The sisters are Tasha (Achanti Palmer) and Zoe (Lauren Corah). Tasha is a nonverbal autistic teenager, and much of Zoe’s life is taking care of her. Each morning, after Tasha plays with her toy train, she sets three bowls and spoons on the breakfast table, then Zoe has to take one away.
“…she sets three bowls and spoons on the breakfast table, then Zoe has to take one away.”
Much of the movie follows the two through Tasha’s daily routine. As an autistic teen, there is safety in predictability, and we soon find that a significant part of that routine is disrupted with the recent passing of the third sister. Just as much as this story is about Tasha, it is also about Zoe, who is now the primary guardian over Tasha’s day, a role she once shared. What director Westhoff lovingly shows is Zoe trying to accept this new normal—not only with her life but also with her sister.
As a short film, Our Sister has the luxury of presenting a situation that many families with autistic members go through to give us understanding and empathy. At just under ten minutes, Our Sister effectively delivers its message of grief and loss loud and clear.
"…presenting a situation that many families with autistic members go through..."