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Happy Face/Sad Face

An unvarnished and intimate portrait of a mental health journey.


Sophie Pontillo’s deeply personal short documentary ‘Happy Face/Sad Face’ is a raw, unfiltered journey into the heart of her mental health struggles. The film opens a window into Pontillo’s life, laying bare the turmoil that has shadowed. With Ben Bedford’s handling of the camera and a tapestry of archival footage and photographs, the film captures the essence of her internal battles in a way that feels both authentic and relatable.

From the outset, Pontillo’s candid narration pulls no punches. She speaks with a disarming honesty about her tumultuous adolescence, the depression, and the harrowing moments that shaped her adult years. The low-budget nature of the film only enhances its charm, stripping away any unnecessary gloss and leaving behind a raw, unvarnished truth.

The real power of this documentary lies in its intimacy. Pontillo isn’t just telling her story; she’s inviting us to walk beside her, to feel the weight of her experiences. Her vulnerability is her strength, making her reflections resonate deeply. As the film progresses, it’s impossible not to be moved by her resilience and her determination to find light in the shadows.

Pontillo’s narrative arc crescendos with a stark, sobering look at mental health statistics and suicide rates. It’s a jarring reminder of the broader implications of her personal story, grounding the film in a wider context that’s both necessary and impactful. It’s a courageous self-portrait that demands to be seen, felt, and discussed.

Happy Face Sad Face Short Documentary Film


Runtime: 9 min

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