Evelyn sat directly across from me. We were in our first class for the Netflix documentary Strip Down, Rise Up. There was so much verve and excitement in the studio. Sixteen of us sat in an opening circle sharing who we were and why we were there. The crew buzzed around us almost unnoticeable but for the massive and bright lights, the two camera operators circling us, and the film’s director, the petite yet formidable Michèle Ohayon scanning the room. Her eagle eye watching every detail, every moment, every vocal quiver. She seemed omnipresent. As much as I wanted to watch the magic of movie making right in my sweet S Factor studio my focus needed to stay inside the circle: leading, guiding, and protecting these women who were about to open their innermost secrets for the world to see.
It was Evelyn’s turn to share. She is a kind woman, a mom, a professional and what she was revealing at this very moment, a widow. As she spoke of her unimaginable loss just 11 months prior I couldn’t help but notice the buoyancy of her body. Her heart was broken. Her spirit trounced a bit but watching her body she felt unsinkable. Yet there she sat directly across from me, head hung low, tears gently rolling down her cheeks telling the room she was so depressed most days she didn’t want to get out of bed.
How she makes her way back over our six-month journey filming Strip Down, Rise Up from this hell to reclaim her joy, her lust, her bliss, is riveting. She will grab your heart and tenderly hold it as we watch her unfold right in front of our eyes. Don’t miss it.
I can say I am still in quiet awe of each of the students who participated in the Netflix documentary Strip Down, Rise Up. Their vulnerability and the story of each of their bodies is on display for the world to witness and fall in love with. It is utterly captivating.
Strip Down, Rise Up premiers on Netflix on February 5, 2021