Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Requiem

I have to say as much as there's a lot of dross on tv, our 'multicultural' station here (that is how it's pitched) - SBS - does serve up some good stuff which we would otherwise not see. I saw "Requiem" on Saturday night and it was brilliant. A typical case of flicking on to something and not really knowing anything about it, I quickly became engrossed in this tale of a girl starting at university in the early 70s who is at first thought to be epileptic, then mentally ill. The conclusion that is finally reached by both her and her staunchly Catholic family is that she is possessed by demons. It is beautifully acted - lead Sandra Hueller is a particular stand out - perfectly capturing the clash of emotions inherent in mental illness: overwhelming torment and angst, brief glittering moments of pure happiness when one is 'free' of it for a time and the on-going act of trying to look 'normal'. It seemed to me that her character was suffering from either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder - there seemed to be symptoms of both but I am no psychiatrist - which could have been treated. But all along certain decisions are made - she washes her pills down the sink, her boyfriend takes her to her parents' home rather than to a psychiatric hospital when she finally collapses - so that the 'diagnosis' of possession and the closing in of the claustrophobic little world of her family and her village can begin in earnest to bury her alive.

3 comments:

  1. Hi feronia,

    we saw a few days ago a similar but different film: The Exorcism of Emily Rose

    The film had a vague similarity to he case of Anneliese Michel, but it was the American version with the tenor - the priest and family did best as he could, maybe demons are real, pour girl, but now she is in heaven...

    :-(
    Bodecea

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  2. Sounds like an interesting Film!

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  3. @ Bodecea -
    Do you think demons are real? I watched "Requiem" assuming it was a Catholic way of reading and dealing with mental illness.

    @ Diana -
    It's fascinating. I've just rewatched bits (I taped it on Saturday night) and it's rare that I'll rewatch something so soon.

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