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Speaking Out [Hannah Brochocki, UK, 2019]

Speaking Out is a short documentary film about living with a speech impediment from director Hannah Brochocki. It explores the routines, struggles and coping mechanisms of three individuals (Karen, Alex and Phil) who all have a stammer.

It’s a simple and no frills documentary without any of the gimmicks or hooks some documentaries feel they need to have to keep the audience’s attention. The interviews with Karen, Alex and Phil are all well done and sensitive to the subject matter, whilst still delving into the frustrations and the injustices that can be caused by living with a stammer.

The diversity of the interviewees’ experiences is also an element that makes the documentary work. Karen has had her stammer since childhood, whereas Phil developed his as an adult. This helps to highlight that the experiences of those with stammers are similar but not universal and that each have their own challenges.

At a mere five minutes, the film perhaps could have done with being slightly longer in order to allow more of a look into the everyday lives of the interviewees, but Speaking Out is still a simple and effective piece of documentary filmmaking that takes a sensitive look into an often overlooked issue.


‘Speaking Out’ was a film in consideration for Short Focus Film Festival 2019.


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