Raw ★★★★★

Family can seriously fuck you up. Now, my family didn't eat people. And I have certainly never munched on a sibling's finger. But I did feel like a flaming turd in a genetic wastebasket of mental illness, being churned inside and out by a maelstrom of domestic violence.

OK, putting it like that does sound rather melodramatic but lets just say that my family life made it incredibly difficult to acclimate to the broader world outside the picket fence of my quotidian horror story. Besides which, with bucket loads of fear, confusion and self-hatred having been hammered into me since birth, when I walked out the door each day I took my own little personal hell right along with me. It rattled around in my skull like a lunch box full of despair.

Anyway, why the heck am I bothering you with my boring sob story? Because of this childhood experience I was scared to death of my own pathetic shadow let alone trying to deal with other people. And often I feel like there was some kind of uncanny valley between me and everyone else that left me unable to connect, leaving me to feel like a big ugly alienated weirdo.

In Raw, Justine perfectly embodies all of these mixed up, fucked up feelings. Her waif like figure may be vastly different to my imposing hulk of a body, but she looks how I felt inside. She is like a small, squirrelly animal, darting here and there, tensed in anticipation of constant threat from every angle. Although, the path of self-medication and self-harm would be better off remaining the road not taken it is regrettably understandable given the situation.

Ultimately, Justine just wants to be a good person and do good things. I found the solution to many of my problems when I met my wife. Although, in addition I needed a great deal of help from professionals and I need to take my medication. I pray (or what an atheist like me does instead - don't ask, it involves goats, pentagrams and candles) that all the Justines of the world find their own solutions for their traumas and illnesses as well, so that they can live functional lives full of love and hope.

Please note: If you do suspect that you have cannibal tendencies, please contact your local mental health centre or see your GP for advice.

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