Rewind to Fast-Forward is a documentary film in the making. Sasha Neulinger uncovers over 200 hours of his family’s home video and reassembles the dark shadows hidden in the footage to tell his heartbreaking and inspiring story of surviving multigenerational sexual abuse.
Sometimes, the best way to move forward in life is by looking back—even if the story of our past is one we want to forget.
For Sasha Neulinger, the director and subject of Rewind to Fast-Forward, that story is one of pain, fear, and a long, difficult road to recovery.
On the day Sasha was born, his father searched shopping centers frantically for the perfect camera to film the birth of his first child—so committed to his search that he arrived four hours late to the hospital when his wife was in labor. But from that moment on, Sasha’s entire childhood was captured on tape. From hockey games and holidays to backyard picnics and living room dance parties, nothing escaped the camera’s lens. But while his father didn’t know it at the time, in the midst of archiving family celebrations he was also recording hideously dark secrets. Between the ages of four and eight, Sasha was sexually abused by two of his uncles and one male cousin. After he came forward and spoke up about the abuse, Sasha spent the next decade entangled in the criminal justice system—and struggling to reclaim his identity in the aftermath of his stolen childhood. This autobiographical film will not only unearth a historical case of multigenerational sexual abuse, but will give intimate and personal insight into one survivor’s journey of recovery and healing.
With hundreds of hours of home video, thousands of court documents and years of news media coverage, there is plenty of work to do in order to bring this saga to the screen. But the richness and depth of this archive will also allow this story to transcend the confines of one family’s painful history to reach the minds and hearts of many and affect much needed change in the way we talk about and understand child sexual abuse.