Monster's Ball (2001)

These last three movies were all directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland and Stay) and the conjoining themes are death and rebirth. Quite a beautiful trilogy.

This was an excellent film. It was often very hard to watch, especially the never-ending sex scene and the execution among other raw scenes. But the difficulty watching plays a role - if we are going to learn to love each other, there are things that we aren't going to go through and not necessarily enjoy.

The transformational power of love, or lack of love is depicted through several characters. Those without love perish or languish and those with love have a glimmer of hope, a chance to rebuild. The execution of an inmate is one of the key movements in the film and the last hours seem to be depicted in real time as we wait with the convict. Death is a reality and this film captures it magnificently in three consecutive scenes.

The camera, as in the previous two of Forster's movies, commands some very odd angles in this film. We are taken to spaces that are often left to cobwebs and to places through doors and windows - as anonymous spectators watching people fumble through their broken lives.


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