06 June 2011

Blog of Revelations

Have you ever gone to bed for a month wishing that you could just wake up a saner person? That happened to me today. It was awesome.

Unrelatedly (perhaps), I spent Sunday alone, and in spite of still feeling flu-ish (on top of the effects of a late night out) I managed to propel myself out of bed for breakfast and an early-morning film on television. I chose Un Poison Violent - a coming-of-age story that sounded a bit saucy (young girl explores her sexuality amidst family drama), but which actually turned out to be much better than it sounded.

The narrative explores themes of flesh/spirit, mind/body, old/young and the necessary tensions of these apparent dichotomies when called upon to behave themselves. Unexpectedly, the most poignant scene involves neither the young girl nor the dying grandfather, but the parish priest - a peripheral character that by rights should have had these issues tied up tight.

Early on, the film lays the groundwork for his impending crisis (he spends a lot of time silently ruminating in wet or dripping locales), and demonstrates that although he’s serious about his vocation, he’s also human, and especially invested in the mother (with whom he shares a [chastened] past) and her fast-blossoming daughter. You don’t see much evidence of his internal struggles until quite a bit later on, when he lies on top of his single bed and begins fervently praying for God to bring him peace, an activity that ends with him curled up and weeping.

The characters all spend a lot of time holding each other up to these rigid codes of conduct with varying degrees of dismay and alarm when expectations are thwarted, but with none so much as they reserve for their own perceived shortcomings (except maybe the father, who only seems repentant towards the end, after his father dies).

I suppose the idea is that no matter how good we try to be, not one of us is godlike in nature, and we are ever in danger of being thrown off our paths by these so-called sins of the flesh.

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