Coming to Terms With the Dead | Chicago Reader

Coming to Terms With the Dead

Pascale Ferran's moving debut feature (1994) deftly intercuts past and present to tell three separate stories of people who have experienced the loss of a loved one. A man, a woman, and a boy each observe another man constructing an elaborate sand castle on the beach, and Ferran reveals how each has dealt with the trauma of death (the man collects and classifies insects; the boy visits a secret, candlelit room). Ferran's narrative structure shows how a crucial loss can render the psyche unstable and fragmented, and the sand castle becomes a key metaphor: destroyed and effortlessly rebuilt, it reminds us that we can endure by remaking the past into a memory or memorial. 108 min.

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