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A thread about films featuring grief

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fra paolo
Posts: 18
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Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:24 pm

Re: A thread about films featuring grief

Postby fra paolo » Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:07 pm

THE BABADOOK

Posts are possibly going to be a bit irregular until the New Year as I am in Colombia to celebrate Christmas/New Year with my sister-in-law. That means my resources for viewing films will be somewhat limited. However, Netflix works here, so I got to see this horror film which features the survivors of a husband's death.

This film was on the 'arthouse' list of films that I have.

We are some seven years after the death of the father. The presence of grief is therefore buried quite deeply, and it is arguable whether the monster represents the inability to move on from loss or the reawakening of a long-buried female sexuality. I lean towards the latter, but I can see an interpretation of the former.

The boy clearly wants to replace the father, but has no comprehension of how to do it beyond a superficial desire to protect and sleep with (in an innocent way) his mother. Meanwhile, the wife's inability to move on is blocked by the boy, owing to his age. The situation has persisted so long that she seems emotionally numb, yet invests a lot of the love formerly directed towards the husband (one assumes) into the boy. But it is difficult to disentangle maternal love from sexual love in this context.

Overall, it was too murky a depiction of grief.

Grief grade: C-.

fra paolo
Posts: 18
761 Ratings
Your TCI: na
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2012 6:24 pm

Re: A thread about films featuring grief

Postby fra paolo » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:11 pm

ALPS

This film is only indirectly about the grieving (or is it?), so will not detain me too long. It was not on any of my lists. I just stumbled over it while perusing Amazon's free Prime films one day.

The 'Alps' in the title is a group of four people who ostensibly provide a service to the bereaved. One of them will take the place of a recent loss, doing two or three two-hour sessions per week, in return for money. However, we only ever see three of them performing the job, and we can even raise questions about whether there are people we do not see as part of the group replacing dead people. It is all very much a case of not really knowing where one stands (or sits) in viewing this.

Intriguing! But not very much use to the bereaved in pursuit of catharsis. It is much more interesting if thought about as a meditation on the borderland between the living and the dead in memory.

However, it does a good job of capturing how the bereaved initially respond to the loss by trying to find something to replace the person who has passed away. It could be another person, or it could be some kind of activity.

Grief grade: C.


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