Talking about child abuse is never easy. The Tale does so brilliantly, through the eyes and memory of its director Jennifer Fox and through the eye of a grown-up child, played by Laura Dern. Beware: this is not an easy watch but it is one that is necessary, acting somewhat as a cautionary tale.

Jennifer, an international reporter and professor based in New York City with her fiancé, seems to lead a life that’s both happy and full. That is, until her mother finds a story written by Jennifer when she was 13. In this paper, Jennifer depicts her privileged and “special” relationship with two of her former adult coaches.
Reading the dog-eared tale written by her pre-teen self, Jennifer embarks on a journey to know the truth and peel back her denial.

What you need to know is that The Tale is based on a true story. Jennifer Fox, played on screen by the breathtakingly talented Laura Dern, went through the tale herself and she prevailed to tell the world.
The director and the film have a joined purpose: start a conversation. Child abuse sadly happens more often than we think and is mainly caused by adults who appear to mean well. The Tale depicts how two adults groom a little girl in order to abuse her and how that little girl’s brain puts defence mechanisms in place so she can survive.

The Tale is at times hard to watch as it doesn’t shy away from showing the abuse as it happens. Some scenes are sickening and will make you really angry but the beauty resides in the fact that Jennifer is brave enough to face her past, deal with her present and tell a story that needed to be told.
Adult Jennifer interviewing her 13-year-old self but also her abusers at the time of the events is a clever way to illustrate the inner conversations and debates she has. Questioning how our memory protects us and how one copes with the truth as it unfolds, The Tale is a poignant, intelligent and emotional movie.

The Tale will be on Sky Atlantic on the 5th of June.