By Sandy Ovalle With on February 15, 2015

Chorus is a French-Canadian drama. It presents the story of a separated couple, Irène and Christophe, who lost their son ten years ago. Each has dealt with the agony in different ways. Irène has given herself to singing. Christophe has resorted to living by the ocean. One day, Irene receives news about their missing son; the remains of his body have been found. Quickly, she invites Christophe back into her life to help her deal with uncovering the truth about the disappearance of their son. Together, they begin piecing parts of the missing story. And they work towards accepting their biggest losses, their son and their relationship.

Grief is the dominant theme of this film. Most characters are in some shape or form dealing with grief over different losses. The director does not shy away from introducing grief’s faithful companions: estrangement, loneliness, and misunderstanding. Throughout the film, we are invited to recognize the harsh truth that time does not heal pain or loss. Rather, pain is present even in the happiest moments. As we get a window into the everyday life of these distressed characters we see that though life is manageable for them it is often interrupted by grief. Estranged, lonely, and misunderstood, Irène and Christophe find some healing through their connection. When they are able to be honest about their pain and share it with each other some healing takes place. However momentary, this honesty in connection offers a brief relief from grief.

In Chorus, grief is presented in two ways. First, it is introduced as an ever-present experience in life. Second, it is offered as a process established to survive the space between the unfinished business in the past and the uncertainty about the future. Irène and Christophe both recognize the chronic pain of their loss. No matter, what they do, the pain is still there. Beyond this, in the disappearance of their son there is a huge lack of closure. And in the future of their relationship there is much uncertainty. The film offers grief as an option to handle this reality. Death and loss extend beyond the central plot and main characters of the story. They are incorporated throughout the film and presented as a universal experience. Even as the characters story takes place, in the background we see and hear a newscast about war and conflict. Ultimately, through raw statements and dark scenes, is as if the film leads its viewer to identify as a fellow griever. Chorus connects us to our human condition. We grieve.

About the Author: Sandy Ovalle
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