Central Station: Music and Themes
When does the Lost Father theme play?
- On the bus when Dora talks about her father (scene 13).
- On the road with the truck driver (scene 16).
- When Dora steals some food, and they start out after she and Josuè argue (scene 16).
- Josuè drives the truck (his ambition) and a version of the theme plays (scene 16).
- The next morning, Dora watches potentially the man of her dreams washing in a pool of water (scene 17).
- When Dora takes Josuè to the makeshift shrine and has him attach his mother’s handkerchief (scene 20).
- When Josuè does not meet his father after all, he turns and leaves the house and the theme (with great dissonance) plays (scene 22).
- They arrive at the New Settlements on the bus (scene 26).
- When they arrive at Jesus’ house in the New Settlements and learn that Jesus does not live her anymore. Josuè walks away, dejected (scene 28).
- Finally, Josuè finds his father—in a photograph with Ana Fontenele (scene 30).
Movement of themes in the film:
- Dora’s hope for a mature love is dashed (scenes 16-18) HER LOW POINT
- Resolution of mother/father/ Josuè relationship when Josuè sings along with pilgrims and when Dora and Josuè climb the hills—ends with handkerchief and shrine = atonement for Dora’s sins directed at Ana (treachery, betrayal, lies) and boy’s admission of his mother’s death and resolution of his grief
- Josuè’s hope for a reunion with his father is dashed (scene 22) HIS LOW POINT—but also an admission by Dora that she CARES for the boy (he’s a good boy)
- Dora’s rejection of Josuè as her charge—“You’re a curse!” THEIR LOW POINT and separation
- Dora’s spiritual and emotional crisis of her own faith in the chapel with all of the messages to the saints. HER LOW POINT
- Reconciliation of Dora and Josuè the next a.m. with PIETA statue configuration—Josuè consoling Dora. (scene 25)
- Dora and Josuè become partners—and thus a kind of FAMILY in scene 25 with letter writing
- Quiet scene that evening between the two, like a mother and a son for the first time—teasing! She kisses him.
- Next a.m. Dora mails the letters—HER RESOLUTION
- On the way to Jesus’ house, Dora talks about meeting her father the last time—DORA’s STORY
- At Jesus’ house, Josuè final hope of meeting his father is dashed—HIS LOW POINT
- Dora invites Josuè to stay with her—they will make a life together—THEIR RESOLUTION
- They meet the other two sons of Jesus—and now we have the REAL FAMILY Josuè was destined to be part of. Dora’s part in this—to introduce the two young men to their stepbrother.
- Dora leaves so that Josuè can lead a life with his NEW FAMILY—and this departure allows us to understand the deepest LACK OF RESOLUTION in her own life—this is her story—and the boy is left behind.
Film resource written by Robert Yahnke
Copyright, Robert E. Yahnke, © 2009
Professor, Univ. of Minnesota
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