"There has always been a huge amount of self determination and preservation in these matters”. SAFE directed by Aleah Scott speaks of young girls’ habitual process of self protection. The question Scott raises is, “when do we become safe? When do women get the chance to exist without constantly thinking about the next threat?”
SAFE offers a space for interrogation of the past and longing for fundamental change. It reminds us of our undeterred existence and the cost of this. It is also a window of nostalgia, offering warm visuals of after-school-antics with friends. The short delves into often heard narratives that have become default. These voice-overs are told by women in the past tense with a haunting relation to the present. These range from violation of bodily autonomy to the relentless hypervigilance of presenting as ‘safe’ in a world that deems you as prey: considering the symbolism of a school uniform skirt, travelling in a pair instead of alone, taking inconveniently longer routes home - and all the cautionary tales that follow. Scott presents patterns of thoughts inherited through panic and prevention but seem to render useless in the face of reality. SAFE is a visceral account of the vulnerable. It is also a deeply moving affirmation of community and an ode to a very specific coming of age.
Aleah Scott “Safe was made after a video of a girl being assaulted on her way to school went viral, it triggered memories of own experiences and started a discussion amongst my friends, from the cat-calling, the uncomfortable glares, the one man who chooses to sit a little too close on the bus and how we all just came to accept it as our norm.
As children, because that’s exactly what we were at the time, we had an awareness of what our presence meant but we learned to accept it. The “Creepy Guy” was a recurring character that would be part of all of our stories, it was just part and parcel of being a woman - but why? Why is this our forever?
I wanted to tell a visual story of girls just existing and capture the carefree essence of youth but pair it with the very real stories that sadly live next to the jovial image of teen-hood and what often trickles into adulthood.”
Director: Aleah Scott @29.02
D.O.P: Fraser Stephen @fraserstephendop
Colourist: Marty Webb @martyjwebb
Editor: Lx @dir.lx