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The name Audrey Hepburn precedes itself in pop culture and the recently released Netflix documentary Audrey demonstrates her ongoing impact on lives across the world.

The documentary successfully highlights the great achievements that Hepburn made both on and off the screen. With insights from family and close friends, a mixed-media viewing experience and archival footage, the film creates both a personal and heartwarming sentiment despite the struggles she endured throughout  her life. 

The film begins with a recount of Hepburn’s both tragic and difficult childhood in Eastern Europe. Both of her parents supported the Nazi regime in Germany until they split, leaving Hepburn fatherless. This  left her longing for unconditional love, which became a lifelong struggle. 

Unfortunately, this was not the only obstacle she faced. Hepburn’s background is rooted in the childhood trauma of starvation and malnutrition because of Nazi occupation in her Holland home, which forbade her from leaving. Due to this maltreatment, her body was unsuitable for her dream career in ballet, leaving her to pursue a different life goal. 

Ballet is an archetype that follows Audrey throughout her life and the film. Hepburn and the ballet similarly embody beauty, grace and elegance, which is why the creative artistic choice of including dance scenes in the film perfectly represents the emotional ups and downs in her life. 

[bf_image id="tt4zn4297z5wqn8b9gbx8jm"] Moreover, Hepburn was known for her success on screen. Much of her career was known for going against the fray of archetypal actresses such as Dorris Day or Marilyn Monroe. But, what Hepburn offered to the screen inspired young women across the world to be dareful and adventurous. The film perfectly depicts the impact her acting career had on the industry, as she was one of the last movie stars to exit the golden age of Hollywood. 

On a more personal note, the film demonstrates the struggles that she had within her relationships. In each of Hepburn’s marriages, family and friends noted how she was in pursuit for unconditional love. Unfortunately, those close to her believe she only found this as she neared the end of her life when she was surrounded with her husband and children. These interviews shine a lens into the personal struggles she endured, which only depicts her as more human and relatable. 

One of the most important moments in the film was when she decided to dedicate the remainder of her life to humanitarian work with the United Nations. The UN hired her for service trips and the film compiles archival footage and voice-overs of her time in Africa. In these scenes it is clear how dedicated Hepburn was to the cause because she experienced similar malnutrition as a child, which only made her story more personal. In all, her dedication to this work embodied the serendipitous full circle moment after  the UN rescued her from Holland.  

[bf_image id="q70g2w-2x9xi0-1et9e6"] Hepburn was a complete, timeless icon for everyone in her generation and after. While the interviews made the film personal, the visual execution made Audrey exciting and captivating, as the viewer joins her in reflecting on her life as a trailblazer. I urge you to watch this film as it will change your perspective on the importance of Hepburn’s life and the legacy that she has left behind. 

Audrey is available on Netflix. 

Josie Collier is a writer for the SCU chapter of Her Campus. Currently, she is a 1st year undeclared major. Josie is passionate about politics and social justice issues. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and spending time with friends!
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