Last night I went on Youtube to look for something interesting and different to watch. I had no idea I could actually watch an entire film without advertising, while not being a payer. I clicked on the link thinking it was a critic engaging in a discussion of the film and ended up watching this wonderful storyline.
The film stars Merle Oberon who was a British-Asian actress (her Asian heritage was a secret to the audience in that time period). This was my first time to see her in a movie other than Wuthering Heights. In Temptation, a woman named Ruby is looking to strengthen her financial picture, and goes after an Egyptologist, Nigel. She shares her secret ambitions with her doctor, assuming that he must keep this secret. She assumes he does. Her marriage takes her to Egypt, and she leads a very boring life until she meets Mahmoud Baroudi. This is when the trauma bond begins.
Since as far back as I can remember, I found controversial films could pique my interest. Actually, it all started with Qube TV in Columbus, Ohio and a girlfriends sleepover. I was at the height of puberty, we were all in Gloria’s basement, and she mentioned that her family had cable. I had no idea what that was, nor did anyone at that time; unless you had it. She also mentioned that there were porn films on the channel, but you had to use a special key, which she had. That was the end of this conversation, until they went to sleep. My curiosity got the best of me and I quickly put the key in and began to watch some really great films; with the sound way, way down. These were not your blue eye shadow, nose dripping, scarf around the neck type porns. Instead, they were art films and the people happened to have sex or be naked for various scenes.
The Irony! I just finished watching this 2 hour and 47 minute film that I think will become or should become a classic. I wasn’t able to find a good trailer online with subtitles and so you will have to just read what I am telling you here. (smiling) This is a movie about a poor man who dies a poor man and the reason is because of his anger and pride.
This is a Hungarian film, with a very very long name: Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time (2021). It is a film that many women can relate to. The man who isn’t who he says he is. The man who cons us into his disguise. The man who is avoidant and we take on the challenge of falling in love with him and gaining his trust and love. Then he turns into another person. He lies. We try to win him back by being persistent and devout. In the movie, this goes in an interesting direction. A very artistic path. Yes, she does get him back in the end. Only, in real life, this rarely happens.
I will not put this movie (French 2018), in “The Arts” section because it is a psychological drama that hits on the topic of sexual abuse, narcissism and women being left alone for several generations; much like Antonia’s Line (Netherlands, 1995). The film starts out in the 1950’s post WWII France. If you are a great film lover, as I am, you will know when you see the cover and the title, it just hits you – I must watch this film. What really piqued my interest was the title “An Impossible Love,” which hit home for me. I saw other things in the description that I ignored at first until it came up on the screen. I love the way Catherine Corsini handles abuse of a child in this film. Extremely subtle. The topic does not even come up until much later in the film. The child’s older lover tells the mother, not to let her daughter visit the father anymore. The shock on the mother’s face, to realize a man she has loved for 16 years, but who has rejected her all the same, is now sexually abusing their daughter. The shock to finally take in the missing pieces of this puzzle “Rachel” has created, her fantasy that he was a great lover, that they had something special together, suddenly unravels before her eyes. Virginie Efira (with the help of the cameraman), gives a somatic demonstration of soul searching, confusion, awareness and reality in just a few seconds of this film.
Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows. They shoot from ambush at the innocent; they shoot suddenly, without fear. They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say, “Who will see it?” They plot injustice and say, “We have devised the perfect plan!” Surely the human mind and heart are cunning. But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down. He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done. The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him!
How can you read this and not recall the ending of “Dangerous Liaisons,” when Glenn Close’s character, the Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil, is being laughed at, after she walks into the opera house. The movie shows us the conclusion of her lies and deception being flaunted in her face. How often though, does this reality occur for us? What is more typical is that the real life bad guys walk away laughing at us, having felt that they have won the day and thinking they reduced us, the victim, to a piece of trash which they have now taken out with the garbage. Take your power back. Walk away with your head held high. Leave with dignity. Fighting back will make you equal to them and you are much better than this. You deserve better.