“Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.”- Kahlil Gibran
jim and i watched a german film called cherry blossoms last night and i must say we were yawning during the beginning. it is a slow and steady paced story about a disconnected adult nuclear family that encounters the daily situations most of us will at some time. the father is diagnosed with a terminal illness, the wife/mother is consulted first and decides not to disclose until family visits have taken place. the couple head to berlin from bavaria to visit 2 of their 3 adult offspring and encounter indifference and nonchalant condescension aimed at the parents. the 3rd son, living in tokyo, is referenced with a crystal understanding that this 3rd son was special. the family in general are not close, nor does it even seem possible that they were ever under the same roof. yet they were.
but as this quiet and tenacious story unfolds, it is revealed that the mother, who is the nerve center of the nucleus, has always yearned for a different life than the one she had. she wouldn’t have traded her kids and her family even if she had been able. the visit goes a bit sour in berlin and the couple decide to go to the baltic- to get some sun and sea air. while there, unexpectedly, a surprise tragedy occurs and the storyline shifts again.
this new chapter finds the characters in tokyo, visiting the son and trying to carve out a new understanding of where their life is headed. it must be late spring in tokyo as the cherry blossoms are everywhere- hence the name. the dance of the cherry blossoms in the breeze is reflected in the movement of the characters from this point forward. there are surprises here, bringing both smiles and uneasiness.
i loved this film. i didn’t jump for joy nor did i cling to the edge of my seat. but i did find that the storytelling was solid. the plot moved and twisted in the breeze. it reminded me that the desires of people don’t necessarily match their lives. and that love and codependency are real, even surreal, they have meaning and they can be weighty.
it’s a good film. pretty, prickly, and perceptive. and jim makes movies more fun.
i have posted the soft cell/marc almond version of this song previously, but i hadn’t heard david gray. i am absolutely mad for him. his vocals, his poetry, his storytelling. i thought it fitting somehow. hope you enjoy it, too.