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25 July 2018

Once in My Life

by Syd Briscoe

The Decemberists: “Once in My Life” - 6 mins 59s

There's a deeply personal story behind this powerful promo for the Decemberists's latest single 'Once in My Life'. Directed by Autumn de Wilde, the film stars her brother Jacob - who is over seven-feet tall and deals with an auditory processing disorder... on top of people's insensitive attitudes.

Jacob is an articulate and compelling subject, sensitive and introspective in spite of the intolerance he faces from others. The switch from documentary-style VO to a defiant dance sequence is a bold, brave choice, and the imagery of Jacob using his often uncomfortable body for his own expression and to help others is extremely powerful.

This film is both universal (everyone can relate to lyrics including "oh for once in my life / could just something go right?") and intimately personal. It doesn't feel like artificial empowerment intended to make the abled feel good (what some campaigners refer to as "inspiration porn"), rather an honest insight into someone often misunderstood. This is moving work which stands up to being watched time and again.

Director: Autumn de Wilde ♀
Cinematographer: Tim Hudson

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