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Foreign Puzzle 2019

Highly Recommended

Distributed by New Day Films, 350 North Water Street Unit 1-12, Newburgh, NY 12550; 888-367-9154
Produced by Chithra Jeyaram
Directed by Chithra Jeyaram
Streaming, 69 mins

College - General Adult
Breast cancer; Dance

Date Entered: 05/07/2021

Reviewed by Kay Hogan Smith, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences

Foreign Puzzle, a documentary exploring breast cancer through the eyes of a dancer/schoolteacher, takes a different approach from that usually employed in health topic documentaries. Instead of alternating personal narratives with medical expert input, this film applies a creative, experiential means to examine the true impact of the disease. As the subject of the film says, sometimes words are insufficient. Although Sharon Marroquin is undeniably articulate, she mostly navigates her experiences and feelings following her breast cancer diagnosis through dance. Indeed, the development of a brilliant modern dance performance based on her ordeal forms the backdrop for the medical/surgical procedures and other challenges (including being a single mother to an active young son) portrayed with an intimate honesty. Her struggle to come to terms with uncertainty and impermanence is examined in heartbreaking clarity in a lovely film that stands out among the more common health documentaries. Highly recommended.

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