Double Feature: My Beautiful Broken Brain (2014) & Why Did You Kill Me? (2021)

Welcome to the next documentary double feature! Documentaries are definitely a little more frequently showing up here as I’ve been interested in checking out more of these especially the ones related to crimes and such. The first is 2014’s The Beautiful Broken Brain is not crime-related but a personal journey and the second is this year’s Why Did You Kill Me about a family’s journey to hunt down the killer of their family member after her death in a drive-by shooting.

Let’s check it out!

My Beautiful Broken Brain (2014)

Director: Sophie Robinson & Lotje Sodderland

MY BEAUTIFUL BROKEN BRAIN is 34 year old Lotje Sodderland’s personal voyage into the complexity, fragility and wonder of her own brain following a life changing hemorrhagic stroke. Regaining consciousness to an alien world – Lotje was thrown into a new existence of distorted reality where words held no meaning and where her sensory perception had changed beyond recognition. This a story of pioneering scientific research to see if her brain might recover – with outcomes that no one could have predicted. It is a film about hope, transformation and the limitless power of the human mind. – IMDB

Documentaries like My Beautiful Broken Brain is not usually my go to however, the premise of this documentary is quite fascinating to watch as it shows the sudden changes that can happen in terms of health to anyone and how her journey is different as she has to embrace a changed world and her path of recovery. For a documentary about a girl who loses quite a bit due to the hemorrhagic stroke, its actually executed in a fairly positive way and sends out a positive message about how we should view our own life whether its about hope or not taking things for granted.

The execution of the film is done a good portion with videos filmed by Lotje Sodderland which builds up on her personal journey through her own recovery from her own feelings and the different steps she takes in order to embrace this “distorted reality”. Its truly hard to imagine what she went through especially when the most basic abilities are striped away through on incident. The execution builds from the start of how Sodderland ends up the way she is described from herself and her family and the reality that she now faces, outlining the effects the stroke had on her brain. As she moves forward, she compares her world to David Lynch’s work and hence her will to document what has happened to her and the journey of her recovery to eventually meet him. In the world of medicine and science, there isn’t really a lot of guarantees especially facing anything with the brain and perhaps that’s the takeaway here as this is a never seen before (or at least rarely seen) especially hard to watch when it gets into the neurological experiment bit.

In some ways, My Beautiful Broken Brain reminded me in premise of 2005’s Japanese TV series 1 Litre of Tears that was based on the true story of Aya Kito who suffered a rare brain degenerative disease and had documented it in her own diary. Where that one brings forth a lot of sorrow, My Beautiful Broken Brain has a lot of heart-wrenching moments but it makes the supposedly successes truly shine through. Its a little scary to watch that the senses and abilities that we use everyday is diminished to being unrecognizable. Overall, The Beautiful Broken Brain is decently executed and offers up a lot of information and a very personal journey that shares both a positive message about hope but also reminds us how lucky we all are to be able to do everyday things like reading and writing.

Why Did You Kill Me? (2021)

Director: Fredrick Munk

The line between justice and revenge blurs when a devastated family uses social media to track down the people who killed 24-year-old Crystal Theobald. – IMDB

Social media and technology has been a huge basis on how crimes are solved on a lot of the recent Netflix crime documentaries. In some ways, perhaps Why Did You Kill Me feels a little lesser in terms of the depth of the case itself as it somehow loses the depth of the topics that it can go. This one focuses primarily on the case on hand and following the footsteps of finding who is involved and why it happened. It also is one of the few where for the most part, the ending is relatively resolved and not exactly some form of call for action.

Why Did You Kill Me takes the angle of a family that wants to find the killer and using the help of a young cousin on Myspace to reach out to different gang members of the suspected gang involved and finding the clues to narrow down who it is and what happened after showing signs of not trusting the police. As much as the documentary is about solving the crime, its more about the line between justice and revenge.

Between interviews and crime scene restructures with minimized scenes, the whole crime is shown in a good detail as it goes from its suspect to exploring the involvement of family members and their own backstory. The crime documentary starts off rather solid because it focuses on the whole early days of Myspace and how eventually it turned into a very extreme way of using the victim’s picture to build the online profile which does end up attracting the person involved. The whole investigation circles around a lot of the same motions and that’s where the pacing of the documentary does feel sometimes like it lacks the content as a full length feature. Its not saying that this case isn’t worth shining light on as the final note on justice and revenge is pretty decent.

Daily Prompt: Show and Tell

Yesterday’s daily prompt: You’ve been asked to do a five-minute presentation to a group of young schoolchildren on the topic of your choice. Describe your presentation. 

I’ve never done show and tell ever, in elementary or high school or whenever you’re supposed to.  I’m not exactly sure how its supposed to go.  As of last night, I came up with this as my show and tell which is somewhat linked to a Science Fair project of mine for Grade 10.

Instant Herbal Medicine

Instant Herbal Medicine

Ladies and gents or maybe I should start, to all the children! I would love to present to you Chinese medicine.  The medicine that we use dried herbal medicine and one of the best is these instant ones which are used to balance your body and kick out all those colds, coughs and sniffles that start up before a cold.

Let me tell you a little story: Last night, I was feeling all bad and thinking maybe my coworker had given me FINALLY her cold.  She’s had about 4 since the beginning of the year, I think.  Maybe a bit exaggerated.  Forget Cold FX, my friends! This one is just fantastic.  I’ve had it since I was a little girl.  Of course, there are other more complex ones that my mom makes, but I’m not here and I’m not that knowledgeable with the actual dried medicines.

However, if you are to pour 1-2 pouches of this into a cup, like so:

P1210321

And don’t forget to boil yourself some water! Thats the only way its going to dissolve into something that looks like this:

P1210323Dark stuff is what chinese medicine usually looks like and they usually come with disgusting bitter smell.  This one is a bit sweetened but still has this weird aftertaste.  If its anything I’ve learned, the more bitter the better it is for you.  Comes from a Chinese proverb but I don’t know how to translate it well.  Thats the gist of it though.

The whole point I’m showing this little pouch of wonder if the its Traditional Chinese Medicine and this stuff does wonder because its not chemical.  Its super good to balance the yin and yang in your body.  Its efficient and after a good night’s rest last night, I woke up feeling extremely awesome! My guess is its helped me feel wonderful so that I can do all the cleaning, cooking and baking that I’ve planned, oh, and a little special something that should go up later in the day.

Was that five minutes? I’m not really good with public speeches so thats my show and tell…questions anyone? We’ll fill in the remaining time with what YOU want to know 😉