Between Strangers

Recommended. Saw this on video. I love chick flicks. And I love movies like this about women’s struggle in this life. I’m a softy for a good subtle feminist flick, cause I think there’s always some truth to their claims of oppression. This story reminds me of another little movie about women that I loved titled, Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her. Between Strangers is three stories of women dealing with their fathers or husbands and how they are connected to each other, though strangers. That’s one of the points of this film: how we are looking for human connection and healing and how we become strangers to those closest to us, yet can find intimacy through others who are strangers. One woman plans to kill her father, who is just out of prison after 20 years for beating his wife to death, the woman’s mother. Yet, this revenge alienates her from her own family. Another woman seeks to find her passion of drawing with a crippled selfish husband who doesn’t even notice her, let alone care about her. And the third woman is a news photographer struggling in a relationship with her over-achieving famous photographer father while dealing with the morality of shooting pictures of pain and suffering without actually helping the victims. She actually shot a picture of a girl rather than saving her from a collapsing building from which she could have saved her. The acting in this film is superb and by some of the better actors out there who aren’t in blockbusters. They are all united by seeing a vision of a little humming girl who represents the innocence or past they have all lost. The ex-con father redeems himself by saving a stranger woman from thugs and being beaten to death instead of her. Substitutionary atonement. Redemption for him in the eyes of his daughter who could not forgive him except for this kind of change of heart. Truly moving. The artist seeks her long lost daughter she gave up for adoption and goes after her dream to visit Florence. Her husband is a stranger, but decides to help her a bit in the end, rescuing his otherwise toadstool selfishness. And the photographer decides that she cannot follow in the footsteps of her heartless yet successful father by taking pictures of pain rather than helping relieve pain. His rationalization of helping their abstract “cause” rings hollow with actually helping actual people. All of these are excellent relevant moral dilemmas that touch the heart with power. This is one of those movies that I love that show lives of different people who appear unconnected and by the end of the film, they have some kind of providential crossing that connects them. It gives me the sense of how all those thousands of people in the background of MY life, are actually living important and complex lives of their own, are all looking for human connection, just like me. Strangers in our lives are valuable intimate friends in someone else’s. We need a little less egocentrism and a bit more human connection.

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