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A WOMAN LIKE ME (#HotDocs15 Review)

placeholderA Woman Like Me

Directed by Alex Sichel and Elizabeth Giamatti

Filmmaker Alex Sichel was left puzzled when diagnosed with breast cancer. In an attempt to help accept her disease, Sichel decides to begin working on a film about a woman going through her exact situation, entitling it A WOMAN LIKE ME. Sichel enlists actress Lili Taylor to play Anna Seashell in the fictitious version of her life. As the production on her film continues, Sichel’s cancer begins to spread. Thus, she writes this into the story of Anna Seashell. Similarly, Sichel incorporates her disagreements with her husband into the film she is working on. Credited co-director Elizabeth Giamatti crafts the non-fiction side of the film, documenting Sichel as she fights her disease and works on her film. The difference between the lives of Sichel and her alter ego, is that in her film, Sichel depicts a woman who tries to deal with her disease in a positive manner. Seashell manages to see the glass half full, which is not always the case when it comes to Sichel.


Sichel and Giamatti have crafted a film that is both heartbreaking and surprisingly quite funny. The film keeps up a great rhythm in the beginning, but begins to lost focus as it reaches its abrupt conclusion. At only eighty-four minutes, the film may have benefitted from a longer finale that could have provided more closure to both Sichel and Seashell’s stories. Nevertheless, the directors have made an entirely unique film that will take its viewers on a quick emotional journey.

3.5 sheep

A WOMAN LIKE ME had its International Premiere at the HotDocs Canadian International Documentary Festival as part of the Screen on Screen program, which showcases the power of cinema.

Remaining Screening Schedule …

Sunday, May 3, 3:15 PM, TIFF Bell Lightbox

For more information and for tickets, please visit

Your turn!

How many sheep would you give A Woman Like Me?


One Comment

  1. I found this movie, or shall I say… this movie found me. I was browsing through my new cable hook-up. I went to Netflix documentaries, and there it was. Although, I do believe I typed in “Cancer”, as a search word. I sit in my lazy boy / girl chair, after having played this movie last night– until my “new” Internet connection “went out”. After several failed attempts to get the SOB up and running again. I was able to accomplish that feat this morning. After which, I immediately re-watched the beginning , and made it, thankfully , to the end of this documentary. I suppose I should mention… I have breast cancer. This doc was just the medicine I needed. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, I cried, but I also laughed. I had deep revelations watching this. I say, I, I, I….what I should be saying is ,thank You, to Anna, Walter, and Zoe. For sharing your lives. This is a prophetic, insightful, touching, bold, generous, humorous , soul-bearing, sad, uplifting, unselfish, peek into the lives of a not-so- perfect, just like the rest of us, family. Loved Lilli, Jonathon,and Maeve, also. Your advisors, spiritualist, therapist, family, all brought there own special wisdom, and insight to this doc. It touched my soul. I will re-watch it, many times I’m sure. And may feel a whole new realm of emotions each time. It’s therapeutic. Life, as my mother says, is a series of positives, and negatives. That have a way of working themselves out . Some ups, some downs, but mostly ups. I definitely consider this work of art– a positive. Thank-you, for sharing your lives with us. Megan Sands -Somers

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