Sunday, June 6, 2010
The film adaptation of the award-winning novel by Anne Michaels - 'Fugitive Pieces' entranced and captivated me. It's beautifully written. It's a story about war, loss, family history, refuge, memories, grief, writing, expression, healing, connection and love. It's lyrical, poetic, sad, uplifting and filled me with hope.
This is one of my favourite excerpts from the screenplay. The main character, Jakob Beer, a writer and historian, reads an entry from his journal, a letter to his future child:
'I pray that soon my wife will feel new breath inside her own, I pray and press my head against her side and whisper a story... Child I long for, child I dream ~ if we conceive you, think of us sometimes, your mother and me, when it rains. And one day, when you've almost forgotten, I pray you'll let us return. That through an open window - even in the middle of a city - the sea air of our marriage will find you. I pray that one day in a room lit only by night snow, you'll suddenly know how miraculous is your parent's love for each other. My son, my daughter ~ Bela, Bella. If we conceive you, know that I was once lost in a forest. I was so afraid that my blood pounded in my chest and I knew my heart's strength would soon be exhausted. I saved myself without thinking. I grasped the two syllables closest to me, replaced my heartbeat with your name: BEL-LA. Now I see that I must give what I most need.'
And here, Jakob reveals his journal to his wife, Michaela, who reads:
'What do our bodies make us believe? That we are never ourselves until we contain two souls. Now I'm not afraid of inhabiting darkness, night after night it's happiness that wakes me. There is room at last for everyone I have ever loved. As Michaela approaches, I shake like a compass needle, feeling for the first time a future - my words, my life, no longer separate. After decades of hiding in my skin, here is a woman that would slowly undress my spirit, bring my body to belief.'