Powerful Short Film ‘ReMoved’ Takes You On the Emotional Journey of a Foster Child

I hope you have some tissues nearby, because this short film by Nathanael Matanick, known better as “Heschle,” makes the term “tear-jerker” seem innocent. Having amassed well over a quarter of a million views on Vimeo and YouTube, ReMoved aims to bring awareness to the importance of foster care programs and the desperate need for quality foster parents.

I’ll go ahead and tell you now that the video is 13 minutes long — but it’s worth every single second. For those of you wearing make-up and needing to go back to work, proceed with caution.

Originally created for and submitted to the 168 Film Festival, ReMoved won Best Film and Audience Choice there, while also being honored as the Best Film at the Enfoque Film Festival and “officially selected” at the Santa Barbara Independent Film Festival.

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ReMoved follows an incredibly immersive story through the mind and eyes of a young girl taken from her abusive household and put into foster care, followed by her heartbreaking journey through multiple prospective foster parents. Describing the emotional film better than I myself could, Santa Barbara Independent had the following to say about the film:

It would be impossible to fully understand the life and emotions of a child going through the foster care system, but this short narrative film portrays that saga in a poetic light, with brushes of fear, anger, sadness and a tiny bit of hope.

Heschle makes sure to give credit where credit is due, thanking a few people for their support throughout the film — including his wife, who helped him write up the story and produce it; Tony Cruz, who was a vital component to this film coming together; Abby White, the young actress who does an absolutely incredible job in the film and with her narration; as well as Abby’s father, Andy White, who recorded Abby’s voice in his studio.

There’s no other way to conclude this other than telling you to just watch it. No amount of words can do this creation justice. It puts you as far into the shoes of a foster child as a piece of visual storytelling can, capturing every minute emotion, all within a fairly short 13 minutes.

Press play, go fullscreen and grab yourself some tissues.

(via Fstoppers)

  • Stan B.

    The thing that really separates this particular film from any like it is that it goes out of the way to portray and allude to why these children often react with behaviors opposite of what well meaning adults seek to illicit from their attempts at empathy and kindness. The film makes these very real, very intense and seemingly irrational reactions understandable to the viewer- aggressive behaviors that can be completely baffling and frustrating to adults in real time. If for that alone, this film is commendable.

    I’d also be remiss to not point out (and I know there are those that are gonna get bent outta shape for me saying it) that it’s sad that we have to resort to a beautiful, high fashion model perfect, blonde, blue eyed girl as the protagonist just so that a certain audience will bother watching something on this topic in the first place.

  • Nahrbert

    too much american sugar voiceovered

  • Lora

    What does that mean exactly?

  • Lora

    I’m not bent out of shape…but I did notice the gorgeous African-American woman was the hero of the film…hmm.

  • Stan B.

    Yup, the balancing act to an otherwise all white production…

  • Ed

    Music track was too overpowering and fighting with the too much content of the VO. Cut out 90% of the VO, lower the volume of the music track and let the actors their jobs.

  • Ed

    Too much hand holding and hitting the audience’s head a stick.

  • dk

    the girl in the film was the filmmaker’s neighbor who had never acted before. there was no intent to try to sell it to a wider audience by casting a beautiful blonde-haired blue-eyed white girl… i can see how it would be perceived that way though.

  • Stan B.

    Looks count more in any film than the mere convenience of a neighbor, particularly in this day when a casting call can net hundreds in 24 hrs. It’s a sad commentary for sure, but do you really think this would get as many views if the girl had been overweight, (less than) “average looking,” Black or Hispanic? Not in the world I live in.

  • dk

    i’m not saying i disagree with the fact that more people have probably watched it as a result of the lead looking the way she does, i’m just responding to the “it’s sad that we have to resort to” part of your comment, or the perceived intent. she wasn’t cast for her looks. it didn’t hurt, but that’s not why she was cast.

  • Suez

    I have been a member of a 168 team. Lots of hard work, and no pay. You pick a scripture and base your story on this scripture. you have 168 hours to complete the film from beginning to end. write, cast, film, edit. submit it. These people are trying to make a difference in this world. I don’t think some of these comments are nice.

  • Stan B.

    Nice? Did you say… nice!?!?

    Is this film about something nice?

    Is life… Nice?

    Disney is nice.

    I gave constructive criticism.

    No, I didn’t say anything… nice, nor pretty, or sweet- I would never demean anyone in such a manner.

  • raj ghosh

    DISNEY IS NICE :) next time in disneyland try to peek behind the happy gates, its the most miserable site one will ever see (figurativly speaking )

  • Stan B.

    Next time? There won’t ever be a first time!

    Always HATED Disney since I was a kid…

  • mbgoose

    Why all this negative comments, dissection and bickering about something obviously meantto do good toward a huge negative delima in in this country. But it is always the people doing something that get criticized by those doing nothing!

  • Tonya

    Amazing. Great job. This inspires me so much. I have been married 23 years and have never been able to have children. I was diagnosed with stage IV endometrial cancer last summer and now I will never have children. It made me want to look into becoming a foster parent. (I’m now cancer free)