HOLD ME BACK (Fantasia 2021) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Thirtysomething Mitsuko lives alone, but she is not alone. Accustomed to her solitary, single lifestyle (she prefers the more empowering term “solo”), Mitsuko is frequently kept company by a voice in her head who, at different stages, soothes, comforts, provokes and outright argues with her. The voice is that of a man known only as “A”, and whether he is a product of some kind of psychological delusion, a guardian angel of sorts, or just a wholesome, run-of-the-mill internal interlocutor with a gender twist, the film encourages us at different points to read him in multiple ways.

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