There is a lot of advice given to those who are going through the loss of a loved one, but the truth is that there is no formula, each person responds to grief differently. Now, in times of post-pandemic, it is more than necessary to reflect on this subject, both to deal with death and to help those who are bereaved.
Watching films that address the theme can be fruitful to observe and learn, for this reason, we have put together a list of excellent movies with characters who are going through or have gone through the end of a cycle. Among the selections are Little Big Women (2020) by Joseph Chen-Chieh Hsu and Bunny Drop by SABU.
If you are in a grieving situation or know someone who is going through it, comforting the person can be a way to show affection, whether it’s in person or through condolence messages, showing that the person can count on you.
Canvas (2020), Frank E. Abney III
While her mother works, a little girl spends her days at her grandfather’s house. He is in mourning for his wife who died recently, so he is in no mood to play and draw with her. Curious, the girl discovers an old art studio in the house, where she finds a painting by her grandmother. On seeing the work, the grandfather is moved and rediscovers the inspiration to paint.
Little Big Women (2020), Joseph Chen-Chieh Hsu
On her 70th birthday, Shoying receives the news that her husband, who has not been in touch with his family for years, has died. The revelation brings the celebration to an end, and Shoying soon takes on the responsibility of organising the funeral alongside his three daughters, who try to deal with their grief and the sorrows they hold for their father. Meanwhile, Shoying discovers that her husband was living with another woman and decides to look for her to attend the wake.
If Anything Happens I Love You (2020), Will McCormack and Michael Govier
Only 12 minutes long, this animated short film chronicles the emotional journey of a couple who are trying to deal with grief. Their daughter died tragically and they are increasingly depressed, distant and silent. To stay together, the couple must overcome painful barriers.
Collateral Beauty (2017), David Frankel
Howard, a promising advertising executive, falls into depression after the death of his only daughter. He withdraws from friends, and work and only finds relief by writing letters to death, time and love. The company he set up in partnership with some friends is going bankrupt, but no one can encourage him to return, even after two years away. So, Howard’s partners look for an unusual way to help him.
Lovely Bones (2010), Peter Jackson
In the 1970s, young Susie is on her way home when she is approached by her neighbour, George. He convinces her to enter an underground hiding place he has built himself. Inside, Susie is cruelly murdered. Now, she is in paradise and, while accompanying her family’s suffering, she must deal with her feelings of revenge towards George to find peace.
What Dreams May Come (1998), Vincent Ward
Chris, Annie and their two children make a happy family. But the children die in an accident and the couple is greatly affected. Everything gets worse for Annie when Chris also dies, four years later. He wakes up in paradise, a parallel universe, and discovers that his wife, overcome by grief, has committed suicide. As the suicides are sent to another place, Chris travels a dangerous journey to find Annie again.
April, May and June (2020), Will Kroopman
April, May and June are daughters of the same mother but have different fathers. All are called to visit their mother and receive the news that she is seriously ill and has little time to live. Besides having to deal with their mother’s illness, the sisters discover that they will have to take care of their younger brother John, who is autistic. Confronted by so much information, they reflect on everything they have been through and question whether they are prepared to take on the task.
Five Feet Apart (2019), Justin Baldoni
At 16, Stella Grant is a teenager unlike most: due to cystic fibrosis, she spends most of her time in the hospital. One day, Stella meets Will Newman, a boy suffering from the same disease as her. The attraction is immediate, but both are obliged to keep their distance from each other for health reasons. With little time left to live, they wonder if they should break the hospital rules.
Ma ma (2015), Julio Medem
Magda is an unemployed teacher and single mother, who got divorced after being dumped by her husband. While going for her routine exams, she discovers that she has advanced-stage breast cancer. Magda decides to proceed with the treatment without telling anyone until she meets Arturo, her son’s football coach. Arturo is also a traumatized man and the two end up getting involved.
Bunny Drop (2011), SABU
Daikichi, an almost 30-year-old man, leads a relaxed bachelor life. One day, he receives the news that his grandfather has died and decides to travel to meet his relatives. During the funeral, he meets Rin, a six-year-old girl who is his grandfather’s illegitimate daughter and will be sent to an orphanage because she is not wanted by her family. Although his relatives do not approve, Daikichi decides to adopt Rin.
Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2008), Julian Schnabel
Jean-Dominique Bauby, the editor-in-chief of Elle magazine, suffers a stroke at the age of 43. He is left paralysed and unable to look after himself, something frustrating for a man known for enjoying life. The only movement he has left is that of his left eye. Refusing to accept his fate, Bauby learns to communicate by blinking his eyes. In this way, he dictates a memoir.
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