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Can eye contact alone heal a broken relationship?

New SBS show Look Me In The Eye reveals what it takes to move on

Starting tonight, new SBS reality show Look Me In The Eye reunites estranged people who have an intimate history and gets them to stare at each other. For five minutes. Without talking.

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Yes, that’s an actual show. I laughed aloud when I first heard about Look Me In The Eye but soon changed my tune when I actually tuned in. Hosted by veteran journalist Ray Martin, Look Me In The Eye hinges on the idea that close contact with someone you have been distanced from could help you move forward, together.

Look Me In The Eye is a show offering a platform for reconciliation of relationship…

While the five-minute “stare off” is kinda silly, the show isn’t. The first episode includes a former South Sudanese child soldier – staring into the eyes of the bloke who used to punish and torment him as a teen. Talk about powerful. Ayik and his former “disciplinarian” Anyang swiftly demonstrate the potency of Look Me In The Eye, particularly when Anyang asks the traumatised Ayik for forgiveness.

The set-up of the show itself doesn’t force its participants to do anything in particular, leaving them to find their own way from that “look me in the eye for five minutes” encounter of possible reconciliation. Look Me In The Eye is a show offering a platform for reconciliation of relationship yet, as Ayik and Anyang exemplify, so much about being able to do that involves forgiveness. Even when it’s painful or seemingly incomprehensible, choosing whether to let go of anger, hatred, vengeance or other negative feelings towards another person is the crossroads we all inevitably arrive at.

Look Me In The Eye takes viewers to that very point, but in the lives of others who are coming face-to-face with the weight of forgiveness – a powerful force to deeply consider.

Meanwhile, at cinemas this week, new drama Gifted dares to dive into parenting styles and education choices. Two of the most explosive topics around. In one movie.

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