What is a life worth in a continuum that stretches long before and long after our existence? How do our individual and collective contributions impact on the bigger picture? These are a couple of the questions I asked myself, while watching “Still Mine”, a story rich with love, devotion and the inconstancies of life.
We meet the ever-determined Craig Morrison (James Cromwell) as he cares for his wife, Irene (Genevieve Bojuld) through various stages of dementia. From reflective and contemplative to fearful and angered, Craig weathers the storm of Irene’s decline into a foggy wilderness, with his incredible display of love, devotion, frustration and patience.
As is often the case, illness brings with it a golden opportunity to re-examine and re-define our priorities. Our sphere of influence appears directly related to proximity, prejudice and passion. Building a suitable dwelling becomes a metaphor for a simple life made increasingly more complicated by changing regulations, red tape, bureaucracy and the many challenges, rewards and misgivings that accompany each phase of life itself. “Every nick we absorb, we can take personally, or we can see the value that’s being added, and the scars and imperfections turn us into a different character.” In fact, we don’t know what we have in us, until necessity indicates that we build the next chapter.
Filmed in the rural farmlands of St. Martins, New Brunswick on the south eastern coast of Canada, the picturesque countryside provides an apt backdrop to this soulful movie about the fortitude and spirit of human nature. The theme song, “After the Storm” reflects the cyclic sentiment that “night has always pushed up day” and “with grace in your heart and flowers in your hair”, in this ever-changing world, our connection to nature remains constant.
Craig and Irene Morrison remind us of how important it is to take stock of our life, to value who we are and the difference we make to those around us.
I left the cinema with one thought in mind, “Thank God for movies!”
© Patricia Herreen 2013