FILM 1: Three Colors: Red, dir. Krzysztof Kieslowski (France, 1994). The destinies of a young woman, saddled with an unhappy love relationships and family strains--and a retired judge, lonely and alienated from society, are intertwined in this film, rich with symbolic imagery and filled with nuanced conversations between the young woman and the old man.
- Film SummaryDiscussion Questions
Destiny in the film Red
- Activity before viewing film
FILM 2: The Ballad of Narayama, dir. Shohei Imamura (Japan, 1983). The film depicts the stark realities of a desperate existence in a mountainous village in Japan--where the tradition is to require a son to carry his superannuated parent on his back up to a sacred mountain and leave him or her behind to die.
FLMS 3: Saraband, dir. Ingmar Bergman (Sweden, 2003). A former lover, now an elderly lawyer, revisits for the first time in many years a former lover in his reclusive lair. The old man lives near an estranged son and recalls fondly (and obsessively) the son's beautiful wife, who died in middle age from cancer. Now the old man is devoted to the future prospects of his son's only child, a teenaged daughter.
FILM 4: Cherry Blossoms, dir. Doris Dörrie (Germany, 2008). A retired German couple, living in a small Bavarian village, finally set off on a long-delayed vacation in their old age--which turns out to have an unexpected conclusion. This outcome triggers another journey for the surviving member, the husband. He travels to Japan to visit one of his sons, who lives and works there--and in doing so, rediscovers the roots of his love for his wife--as well as the wellsprings of his own imagination and creativity--while befriending a young woman (a butoh dancer).
Film resource written by Robert Yahnke
Copyright, Robert E. Yahnke, © 2012
Professor, Univ. of Minnesota
Request permission from the author to reprint this resource--for educational use only