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Jabe Babe: A Heightened Life (2005)

  Directed by: Janet Merewether
Written by: Janet Merewether
Starring: Jabe Babe
Links: Jabe Babe: A Heightened Life on the IMDb
Genre: Short
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Documentary 2005 (nominee)

This movie gets: 6.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Half doco, half fiction" - a review by pearly

Jabe Babe: A Heightened Life is a short documentary about a woman named Jabe Babe, who has Marfan Syndrome, and as such, is extremely tall. The documentary blends together interview footage with Jabe and fictionalised situations set against cartoon style backgrounds, making for a rather odd piece.

What's interesting about this documentary is the depth of detail which Jabe is willing to reveal about herself and her history, as she has had a fascinating life: going from thinking she would only survive to a young age, and now defying the odds and not having prepared a backup plan for what she would do were she to live.

As is often the case with this inventive style of documentary, my personal preference would have been for a less fictionalised version of Jabe's story - a more straight up telling of her life. Chances are it would have been a little more dry, but Jabe's life is certainly interesting enough to provide enough to hold an audience's attention without these bells and whistles. I was also left wanting for more information about Jabe, and felt that time could have been better devoted to even more information, rather than putting her into a cowgirl suit and parading her in front of cardboard cut out cactii.

Still, this documentary is, as a whole, an interesting portrait of a unique person.

pearly gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 15 Feb 2006

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Reader comments

  1. I didn't know that Jabe was alive. Was her foster sister and would like to get in touch. Living in Sydney.

    A comment from Rhonda Shales on Sat 01 Jul 2006 16:56 #

  2. brilliant!
    i happened to catch the film on TV and it was so engrossing and funny and clever. highly recommended!

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from yoav on Fri 21 Dec 2007 08:29 #

  3. Hello.
    I am writing to inform you that sadly; Jabe passed away last Sunday 6 April 2008 from heart complications.
    I know it is short notice; but the funeral will be held this Friday 11 April at Marrickville Bowling Club at 11 AM.
    There is a request for no flowers, but a donation to a Marfans Syndrome organisation of your choice.

    Im so sorry to bring this very sad news.

    Bibs, and Amber

    A comment from bibs on Thu 10 Apr 2008 16:59 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 9.00 (1 rating)

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