“Path Altered” tells the morbid tale of how sexual abuse at an early age can lead to devastating effects later on in one’s life, through the re-creation of the stories of three women, all creatively linked together in this harsh docu-drama. It’s a depressing film for sure, but then again so are the statistics that one out of four women are sexually abused during their childhood.
This isn’t exploitation. So the re-enactments found in this short aren’t ever violent or sexually explicit. They’re artfully crafted and are complimented by interview footage of professionals on sexual abuse. The one thing that sticks out, however, is the narration during the re-enactments. Instead of using an objective narrator who spews facts and guides the story along, Jackson used narration from a woman who gets emotional while she’s relaying the horror story of these abused women. Her tone rises and falls, she curses and she even starts crying at one point. I imagine that this was an attempt to hammer home the seriousness of the situation. Thing is, we already know that sexual abuse is an awful thing. We know this, so we don’t need a narrator to lose their cool in order to try and make us feel worse about it.
But then again, if we all know how terrible sexual abuse is, why does it happen so frequently still?