How long has it been since you’ve seen a film that you think about for days or weeks later? For myself, I sometimes struggle to explain an episode of a series I’ve seen the next day for my wife. It feels as though the more content there is out there, the less likely it will be memorable. This has been a running theme for me over the last few years. It feels as though I may be suffering from Netflix saturation syndrome.
As a remedy for this, I’ve recently become a proud subscriber of Mubi. For ten bucks a month I see movies I often have never even heard of. One such film is the Swedish/Denmark effort Jätten, or in english; The Giant.
This 2016 film, originally kickstarted and directed by Johannes Nyholm, features Rikard; a young man with a string of disabilities (including a form of elephantitis) who lives in a Swedish long term institution. We watch him struggle daily with his illness, but we also catch some of the magical realism that help define his character and propel him along his journey of self discovery and resilience.
There is a scene in the film where the central character tries desperately to convey what he feels by moving his hands carefully, and yelling out “Zughi!”, a seemingly unintelligible word to this best friend. It’s a powerful scene for me because it reminds me of what it it is to try and convey how you feel to others. For some, that process can be incredibly difficult. Which is why the art therapy programs profiled in the film also reverberated for me.
The Giant will also make you laugh, cry, hope and love. Remember the last time a film did all that?