A Review of “Surviving Me: The Nine Circles Of Sophie”, A Cautionary Tale


By: Austin Winter-Chase


In the middle of the journey of our life I came to myself within a dark wood where the straight way was lost.
Dante Alighieri


One might imagine when they go off to college that it will be a piece of cake or moreover a brand new life of freedom. Where they can do what they like, live as they want and there are no consequences for their actions, but that is not how the real world works. In the film “Surviving Me: The Nine Circles Of Sophie”, Sophie (Christine Ryndak) a college student entering her junior year. She is a brilliant student with a passion and love for poetry. Her dream is to become a poet and to follow her dreams no matter what the cost. Sophie begins to explore the freedoms and restrictions her life entails. The falsehoods that have become her mask begins to become the weapons that destroy all the relationships and lives around her. Sometime the cost can be to high. Unsure about her sexual identity, her path, and her life; one crisis after another sends her into a tailspin of her own private Dante’s Inferno. Where she must finally face the person she truly is and see if she can make it to the other side safe and sound.

Director Leah Yananton’s intelligent and cautionary tale explorers the deep emotional hurricane that a lot of young college students find themselves in unable to cope with complicated situations. Indeed it can turn into a modern day Dante’s Inferno with no end in sight until they hit rock bottom or someone is there to save them. Life is complicated, but for a college student it can be even more so. Where boundaries are blurred and relationships are not so clear. Extremes become the norm and life becomes more complicated. “Surviving Me: The Nine Circles Of Sophie” is a wonderful film of masterful storytelling. At its core it is both heart wrenching and moving. Causing one to reflect on the complicated themes represented in the film, but also giving a light of hope at the end of a very emotionally twisted tunnel.

“Surviving Me” will be screening Friday Oct. 16th, 4:10 pm at Laemmle Theater in Beverly Hills at the La Femme Film Festival.

You can follow the film on Facebook here.


Surviving Me: The Nine Circles Of Sophie 1h 42 min

Director: Leah Yananton