French actress Sandrine Bonnaire turns the camera on her 38-year-old psychoinfantile autistic sister, Sabine, in this moving, highly personal documentary about love, pain, distress, and a commonly misdiagnosed affliction. Sabine is a bright, intelligent, talented woman who endured five long, miserable years in an ill-equipped, under-serviced psychiatric hospital, a shattering experience that nearly broke her spirit. But with the help of her family and friends, she makes a remarkable recovery in a new home.
With plum roles in films by some of France's leading lights (Intimate Strangers, Secret Defense), Bonnaire is better known as a marquee star. Here, she assumes the more delicate role of director, advocate, and (in real life) caretaker with aplomb, crafting an intimate story about mental illness and the failures of our modern health-care system. Drawn from personal footage filmed over 25 years, "Her Name Is Sabine" is sad and touching, but ultimately pays tribute to the resilience of a remarkable woman with a lot to offer the world and the people around her.