Monday, April 21, 2014

Philomena: Late-life Reconciliation

Released 27 November 2013
People are storytelling animals. We develop narratives to create meaning in our lives.

We also use narratives to persuade others to act. And we use narratives to resolve conflicts--with others, with ourselves.

Philomena (2013) is a film that depicts a woman in late life who is trying to resolve her conflicted feelings over losing her first child to adoption.

Based on the true story of an Irish girl who became pregnant while unmarried, Philomena mainly consists of the main character doing a life review as a way to find a measure of peace about her lost son, Anthony.

Life reviews are often performed by older adults when they are active in the dying process. However, psychologists also see the value of a life review for the physically well.

Constructing narratives of one's life can help lift depression, promote self-forgiveness, and transform regrets into acceptance.

At the start of the film, Philomena becomes withdrawn and pensive. Her daughter wants to know what's wrong. For the first time, Philomena talks about her lost son, Anthony, who would be 50 years old at the time.  Soon thereafter, Philomena meets journalist Martin Sixsmith, and they work together to find her son.

Over the course of the film, Philomena shares memories of Anthony formed during the few years that she and her son both lived in a convent.  She also shares her concerns for how his life turned out after he was adopted.

As she gleans bits and pieces of information about Anthony's fate, she talks to Sixsmith as a way to create new meaning for how Anthony relates to her as an American, a politician, a person in a committed relationship and so forth.

See the film, now out on DVD, to see how Philomena finally reconciles her relationship with Anthony and her relationship with the Catholic church, who played a complex role in Anthony's and Philomena's lives.


Films about Aging M-Z 

No comments:

Post a Comment