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Quebec Bill Bohomme is a hardy schemer and dreamer, who, desperate to raise money to preserve his endangered herd through the rapidly approaching winter, resorts to whiskey-smuggling, a ... See full summary »
'Disappearance' takes place in the remote winter landscape of Norway. Roos visits her mother there yearly, but this time it's different: she brings bad news. However, old pain and numerous reproaches keep Roos from sharing anything with her mother. Aided by her half brother and her old flame, the two women reconcile and Roos is able to make her next and inescapable step.Written by
"Disappearance" is elegantly simple but intense, and fortunately for a review without spoilers, the film's emotional content is its most significant. This is a film about family, and the need to share one's love and one's fears with the people that matter the most. Sharing isn't easy for Roos (Rifka Lodeizen), because it means loading her burden onto a mother who resents the choices they each made earlier in life, and onto a half-brother so young he doesn't deserve to bear the load. Life isn't fair that way. Finding the courage to begin the necessary conversations, knowing the pain they will cause, doesn't come easily to Roos. When she does open up, we might be tempted to criticize her timing, but under the circumstances I wager few of us would do better.
At times symbolism supplants narration, usually to good effect. A scene with a fish reveals how completely Roos has turned her thoughts to the well-being of others. The moose incident may remind Roos that she still has some choices to make, or alternatively, it may merely create what she feels is the right setting for a conversation with her mother.
What really matters, we are shown, is sharing our love of life's beauty with others, and letting their love into our life as well. Roos builds that sharing bond with her brother in the ethereal beauty of an ice cave and with a pragmatic and odd conversation in a sauna that should remind him of the importance of human interaction. Rebuilding the bond with her mother is more challenging; only when their relationship is stripped to its core does the elder woman allow her daughter back into her heart. Then Roos is finally able to control her own destiny.
"Disappearance" isn't easy to watch, but it is so very worthwhile.
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