Day twenty-five: The Secret Life of Words (April, 3)

At one point in the twenty-five day's movie, a character tells another that some war survivors feel guilty for being alive. During the film I also felt a gigantic guilt, but for living in comfort during such an horrific tragedy at the time. I know this guilt leads to nowhere, but that was the impact of this story on me. 

I've seen bits of The Secret Life of Words before, and had even bought the DVD. From Catalan director Izabel Coixet, I've also seen My Life Without Me, 2003. Both films presenting Sarah Polley in touching and heartbreaking performances. So, after a long time having tiny bits of this story present on my mind, yesterday I finally got to see it entirely.

Misfit characters, silence, quietness, economy of movements. Dialogues that go straight to the heart, as a firing arrow. A connection that is created through having lost the own place in the world. A violence so big that it will radiate for a long, long time in human's story. 

After that, I couldn't sleep. Incessant flashes from the movie composed my restless dreams. At the time of the events portrayed on the film,  I was at college, initiating my first full time job, looking at life through films and building my own desires. During that period, part of the world was imploding, with hideous violence against human beings and, specially, women. 

There were some traditional studies about image's receptions that sustained that movies create violent behavior. This idea is not predominant in cultural studies today, but it is still a common sense hit, as to say. I think that we should, actually, value how through narrative arts we are able to access what happens in the world in a form that makes us truly relate to the absurdity of such violence. From that, we can question the nowaday's society and human behavior. We can change ourselves, and even decide to act more industriously in order to make somethings different.

I was crushed after this movie, and seriously questioned my way of living. Impotence is a disability, and something must be done to reverse that in ourselves.

The Secret Life of Words. Directed and writen by Isabel Coixet. With: Sarah Polley,
Tim Robbins, Javier Cámara, Julie Christie.  Spain/Ireland, 2005, 115 min.,
Dolby Digiral, Color (DVD).

PS: As an actress, with her quiet manner, Sarah Polley carries a lot in her performances. She also tells the story in the other side of the cameras. She had directed two fictional features:  Away from Her, 2006, that I haven't seen but will look for it soon, and Take This Waltz2011.This last one I've seen at the movie theater. I liked it, but... there's a thing that never, ever works in telling a story: built it as a thesis. Of course there's a point of view in any storytelling, we have to say something, but in some cases we are not able to do that through a narrative, and so we write a thesis. A movie can lost its soul in this kind of attempt, and for me it is what unfortunately happened in Polley's film. Stories We Tell,  her 2012 documentary, I'm looking for too, and it will probably make an appearance here also soon. 

PPS: Fragments: Just Like Heaven, 2005;  Heaven  can Wait, 1978.  Wait... is there a hidden message here? Ops.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. This was heavy to read. I don't know if it was on purpose, but there is a link between the movie's name and your text here. Some words speak for themselves. Violence and Human, i'd say.