First Run Features // 2007 // 34 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Christopher Kulik (Retired) // January 8th, 2009
A new mother...winning the battle against breast cancer.
Meet Lori Benson, a 38 year-old aspiring filmmaker. Shortly after giving birth to her daughter, Talula, she discovers she has breast cancer. A huge dark cloud emerges in her sky of joy, and now Lori must begin a battle which will consume many months. She goes through surgery as well as chemotherapy, with tremendous support from all of her friends as well as her husband, Jonathan.
An extraordinary, intimate documentary short subject, Dear Talula has a power and urgency which most feature-length films lack. Benson is one of the millions of women who are attacked without warning by this devastating disease. She boldly tells her story as a cinematic letter to her young daughter, who has a 50% chance of carrying the same gene.
What drives the film through its 34 minutes is Benson's perseverance and strength, with tongue firmly in cheek, as she turns this negative tide into an upbeat and inspiring one. Dear Talula could have easily become a depressing, Lifetime Channel-style weeper, and it ends up being a memorable must-see for all, particularly women. Hopefully this will at least be nominated for an Academy Award Best Doc Short Subject, as it already has received several accolades.
First Run Features gives Dear Talula a most respectable digital treatment. The shot-on-video, full frame presentation is clean and free of debris. The music and songs are treated to an effective DD 2.0 Stereo track, although there are no subtitles. Extras are better than expected, with a 3-min piece also directed by Benson with several interviews of breast cancer survivors and a 5-min look at Benson's journey in spreading her message. To top it all off, we have a gallery and a breast cancer guidebook, which can be accessed on your DVD-ROM.
Review content copyright © 2009 Christopher Kulik; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: First Run Features
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 34 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Breast Cancer Guidebook
* Director's Notes