The Eyes of My Mother (2016)

The eyes of my mother francisca

The Eyes of my Mother (2016).


Sometimes, the road to the most absolute desolation, passes through murder, torture and confinement. And at other times, when you start to see a movie, there are no great expectations, and suddenly, almost immediately, you find a lost jewel.

In The Eyes of My Mother (2016), Nicolas Pesce’s first film, violence does not impress by the use of blood but by its coldness, in the camera, in the actors, in the landscape: an icy nature that, however, in itself does not exclude the recognition in the other. The horror and the disturbance, in black and white (the most suitable media to express the light and the darkness of time) crosses the eyes of the spectators and the characters; and this horror tinged with the sadness of fado, the Portuguese songs that seem even more desolate in the immensities of the North American prairies (almost as in those typical Russian songs, where there is always a husband, a son or a mother, lost in the war, or winter, and that never returns), in the end, recreates an appearance of pain, the illusion of a self-contained picture that closes on itself and from which the viewer can not easily escape. Not every spectator, it is true; for as in some mysticisms, not all human beings will gain access to the soul, nor to the necessary state of mind, which requires the contemplation.

Francisca, the orphan, like her parents, seems to have chosen isolation, not because she prefers it, but because it is the only thing she knows. What she has learned from her mother, in this kind of universe of American Gothic, German expressionism and Portuguese melodrama, are not only the skills of a butcher or a surgeon on the battlefield; but also the compassion of all who must work with the flesh. For Francisca’s eyes there is no evil; there are only accidents and chances, and there is also no joy in revenge, not even in crime. Just as you have to sew an open wound, they are only things that sometimes, sometimes a lifetime, must be done. And in this fatalism (fado or destiny in Portuguese), which is within the same beings and not outside, it is not the insensitivity towards hurt and pain, neither its frozen glance, but its intense desire not to be alone, which in the end will condemn Francisca to an implacable solitude, and to a new exile: not from the land on the other side of the ocean, like that of her mother, but of all humanity.

5/5 Stars

Star666 Star666 Star666 Star666 Star666


The worst that could happen

Fall down some stairs, for example. One usually forgets the formidable enemy in which a few concrete steps can become.

A tropical disease, that would be a real bad thing.

In Yahoo Answers the worst thing that could happen to you, is being away from Jesus or losing a loved one, or having someone fucking your girlfriend. People who think that way, do not know the meaning of the word worse. Losing your hands, another writes, at least there is someone with some idea.

If it were to lose a part of the body, what would be the last one limb you would want to lose? Well, this would be a worse thing, be kidnapped by a psychokiller, and have to choose the mutilation that one would prefer. Take an eye with a spoon boiling or lose the genitals with a drill. But then it would not only be the loss, but also the torture. The loss of the member would not matter now, who has ever left alive from the hands of a sadistic murderer. It would have to be something more exquisite, an evil surgeon who would be pleased to perform clean mutilations without pain, and that then released in perfect state of health to its victims. Before the operation he only would ask: left hand or right foot? Eyes or tongue? Finger or ear? It could be even worse, he could operate the opposite choose of the victim, or patient, as they prefer to call it. Being in such a situation, even if the doctor was not a psychopath, could already be bad enough. But I suspect that this situation, a mutilation, would not yet be the worst, as long as there is life, one clings to it, even in the most miserable conditions.

If it is about elections: torture or mutilation? Or worse: today what? and tomorrow? Or; what would be worse, being tortured being innocent, being guilty or being unjustly guilty? If the torture is the same, would it make any difference? Can the one who torture be morally superior to his victim? This is an important digression.

It may be quite relative, I suppose all the victims of some act of this kind felt at that moment that it was the worst thing that could have happened to them in the life. But no one really knows. It may even not be so atrocious. It can be something so casual that passes quickly, then dies or survives. The worst must be something that you have to endure for the rest of your life. It can not be born with deformities or with the face of the Elephant Man, or be the Man without Face. That would have happened, it could not happen again. If something is the worst, is just because before, something was better. But it is also true that the worst can always get worse.

It is difficult to think of the worst without thinking about hospitals, torture, mutilations and disease. Subject as the humans are to physical laws, it can not be different. The worst is not what can happen, but maybe the easy way in the worst things can happen. All those people who suffered horrible accidents and now go around the world in a bloody video that is broadcast by email, with his faces and bodies split in two, while the medical students filming their indescribable agony by cell phone, they do not knew that was going to happen, not even a few milliseconds before. That may be the worst. But is not.

The movies have greatly exaggerated the concept of the worst. Is underestimated too much. You do not have to go too far to find bad things for real.

It is actually a sterile thought. Everyone knows it. Everyone knows the worst that could happen.