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The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart

Before I review, I need to provide some context, since I will be going against general perception of the series. I am a man, but I come from abusive family: mother abused me mentally and physically, while father abused me only mentally (with physical abuse delegated to mother). It took me years to even realize that I was living in an abusive family (and society), let alone try escape it. I know first hand how important the topic of domestic abuse is and how difficult it can be for the victims to come forward.

Now for the actual review.

As you may know from series description or from the paragraph above, domestic abuse is THE main topic of the series. The way it is being depicted here is quite atmospheric. The respective scenes may not be the most gut-wrenching I've seen on TV or in movies, but they can make you uncomfortable, and since that's the whole point of them, it means, that creators succeeded in the task.

The quality of the atmosphere does not stay only with the domestic violence, though, it spreads to other aspects of the series. The (somewhat) slow pacing throughout the series, the camera work, the lighting (and its contrasts) - all work toward creating an atmosphere of gloom and mystery. But if you stop for a second to think about things happening on screen... It kind of falls apart.

Now, I came into the show hoping that there will actually be some magic. The description and the trailer (and the whole 1st episode) wrapped things in such a way, that something magical or paranormal has happened, and there is this "antient secret" lurking on that farm or something like that. I was totally fine, when I realized, that it is not the case, it could still be a good psychological story, right? Well, not really.

The story is actually quite shallow in that regard. The domestic abuse episodes, while having a logical background, do not go deep enough. They cover everything with cliches like "women hide the facts of abuse", "women continue to endure", etc. The scenes that deliver these cliches are "just there". They do not even try to explain WHY these things happen. There is no thought process behind the women's decisions, like "If I tell on him, he might kill me for real". And don't get me started with the obvious message of "only men are abusers".

Interestingly most problems described in the series are caused... By people not using their mouths properly. And I am not talking only about lying, but also about generally not talking (besides cases when loss of voice is caused by trauma). That and not working through your trauma.

I get it, this happens a lot in real life, sadly. But I would expect a series very focused on this problem to send a message through its narrative, that it's not a good idea, and that if you do talk, it can help you grow, and can help you find help, and happiness... And that it may also be talking about acceptance and maybe level of forgiveness (not of the abusers), but the show does not do that.

In the end, the whole series is about not sharing important information for no real reason, about not talking things through, about making your own past literally destroy lives of other people, because you won't talk about it, and won't listen to what others are saying... And the moral? Don't really do anything, you will still get a farm and "a sacred mission to help others get their voices". Like, really, the ending is soooo forced, and feels worse than endings of the worst Disney movies or shows of the past years. Yes, including super-hero movies and shows, where you can expect such an ending.

Good intriguing start, great atmosphere, but extremely underdelivered narrative, done not so much to actually explore the theme and potentially help people, but to show that the creators of the show "care" about the topic, while actually aiming for the money and nothing else.