Documentary Reviews Film Reviews

INTRODUCING, SELMA BLAIR: A Raw Peek At Life With A Chronic Illness

If you existed in the 90s, you know Selma Blair. She was part of the early aughts culture, starring in beloved classics like Cruel Intentions (1999) and Legally Blonde (2001), even branching into superhero territory with the original Hellboy franchise. Though appearing in over 80 projects, Selma was able to avoid a full-fledged public persona. But when publications began running stories regarding bizarre behavior in recent years, her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis (MS) would uncover the painful reality of the disease.

Finally telling her story, Introducing, Selma Blair is one of the more heartbreaking—yet heartwarming—documentaries to watch. It will leave you with a newfound respect for Blair, as it shows an unfiltered look of someone living with a chronic illness. Her journey, nothing short of admirable.

Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar, CRUEL INTENTIONS

While we know Selma from her Hollywood roles, the documentary allows us to connect with her on a personal level. She gives insight into her childhood and the troubled relationship with her mother; which depleted her self worth. After the birth of her son, Selma experienced severe swings in emotion that doctors would attribute to stress. She feared that she was failing and her self doubt skyrocketed—all the while becoming more sick.

In 2016, Blair would make tabloid news for a bizarre incident on an airplane, where the actress appeared incoherent. Unknowingly she was dealing with a debilitating disease, self-medicating in order to ease the pain. It was about two years later that she would finally be diagnosed with MS. Blair says she would feel a sense of relief from finally having an answer. That it validated her.

As the documentary explores her path for treatment, we really get to see Blair’s strength in full. It almost feels patronizing to be in awe of it, but it’s just inspiring to see how her humor prevails. Her charisma and charm breaking through in even the most crushing moments. You can’t help but fall in love with her.

Introducing, Selma Blair is such a raw look at her experiences and will educate so many on the effects of MS. Director Rachel Fleit does an exceptional job at capturing everything with a compassionate lens. It was without a doubt one of my favorites from SXSW 2021.

Stay tuned for the film when it launches on discovery+, sometime later this year.

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