Middle of Nowhere
By Andres Figueroa With on February 05, 2012

Personally, I was drawn to this film simply because of it’s premise. I find the idea of extreme love commitment and endurance particularly compelling. And, so from the get go it already had my attention. I though both the writing and directing by Eva Duvernay was excellent. I noticed that she likes to take her time with scenes and her actors, whom both did a fantastic job. At times the film felt a bit slow, but I think it worked none the least. The questions this movie raises about “love as a choice” as Duvernay herself mentioned in the Q & A are very important for our times I think. I believe our culture views love as a commodity most of the time, or as an exercise in self-fulfillment and self-gratification and so a film the portrays the honor in committing to one person and working hard for a relationship without being naïve is a breath of fresh air.

About the Author: Andres Figueroa

9 Responses to "Middle of Nowhere"

  1. This beautiful movie, filled with long, lingering moments, captured one woman’s story of waiting, faithfulness and what it means to love. Ruby, a successful, driven black woman waiting for her husband to get out of prison, deals with career struggles, communication with her family and spouse, and trying to take care of herself while holding it all together. There is a universality in this film, that draws in and connects the viewer on a heart level as Ruby deals with the painful, confusing, vulnerable and evolving parts of love. Ruby and her relationships transform over the five years we walk with her, from being codependent (“You are me” she says to her husband in the first scene), to struggling with her vows and faithfulness when it’s for worse and not for better, to losing herself and her own desires, to finally differentiating from Derek, being challenged by her family to find her voice again, and allowing Derel to take responsibility for his own life. It’s a movie that leaves the viewer wrestling with questions rather than a story tied up with a bow.  As Ruby says at the end of the movie, we’re in “The space in between.  The past is gone and the future isn’t there until we arrive.”

    by Brooke Toftoy on Feb 6th, 2012 at 9:02 pm
  2. The cuts are long and the music somber. These were just a few of the intelligent ways in which this filmmaker made choices to convey the emotions of patient waiting. The film opens up with a conversation between Ruby, the main character, and Derek, her husband. He will be in prison for 8 years, but with good behavior, potentially 5. From the beginning of the film, you can see Ruby’s posture of sacrifice. She is willing to give up medical school because she wants to make herself available to pick up his phone call, and make weekly visits to the prison. She is willing to put everything on hold to be there for her husband. So she waits. Four years pass and she is still in a place of suspense. Everything revolves around this expectation that Ruby has, for when Derek can come home and life can finally move forward.
    This movie was about knowing when to let go, when expectations refuse to remain consistent with reality. Ruby goes through the process of coming to terms with her reality, facing the consequences of choices she made and the choices made for her. There is a point where she is forced to face the truth about her situation, and it threatens to break her, but she finds empowerment in it instead. This film allows us to see the patient endurance, the sacrifice, and heartbreak of the loved ones of those in prison.

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