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Chained for Life

Aaron Schimberg’s impressive second feature is his response, as a filmmaker with facial deformity, to cinematic portrayals of disfigured people. Simultaneously empathetic and sardonic, Chained for Life’s multi-layered meta-narrative casts Jess Weixler (Teeth) as Mabel, a well-intentioned Hollywood star. She takes the role of a blind woman in a hospital-based horror movie about abnormalities, directed by an egomaniacal German auteur. As shooting progresses, Mabel gradually falls for friendly British co-star Rosenthal (Pearson, Under The Skin), who has neurofibromatosis.