Table of contents:
- It is probably wrong to start a review of Day Eight (Belgium, France, Great Britain, 1996) with a description of a scene from another film. But if this happens - what can you do
- The film "Day Eight" is just a film about such a "other". Even about “others”: after all, the hero of the film is not an isolated case on this blue planet. And he is not a fictional "terminator" or "superman", not a comic book hero - he is taken from real life
- Perhaps to someone the words "humanism", "altruism", "tolerance for others" will seem pretentious or hackneyed. If so, it's a pity. And similar symptoms are a signal for immediate psychotherapy in the form of watching the movie "Eight Day"
- Goethe had a split personality, he saw himself from the outside - and this did not prevent him from writing Faust. The boundaries of the norm and pathology are unsteady, and you need to be able to be tolerant of others, to accept people as they are
- Alas, while the modern world is not well suited for the socialization of disabled people, people with congenital or acquired defects. That is why the ending of the film is tragic: the hero is broken to death
- Perhaps, soon to "others" - whether they are disabled people, or people of a different faith, or people of a different nationality - the attitude will become more tolerant not only among individual representatives of humanity, but also among the whole species of homo sapiens as a whole. Otherwise, it is not clear how this same homo sapiens differs from the previous creations of evolution
Video: Watching The Film "Day Eight" With A Psychologist - Reviews
It is probably wrong to start a review of Day Eight (Belgium, France, Great Britain, 1996) with a description of a scene from another film. But if this happens - what can you do
This very “different” film is a domestic film. It's called Two Arrows: A Stone Age Detective. I even find it difficult to name the year of its creation: it seems something like the end of the eighties - the beginning of the nineties. Directed by Alla Surikova. The action takes place there really in the Stone Age. Only now people are exactly the same as now, and the relationship between them is also exactly the same as in our time.
There are the same vices, disadvantages and advantages. And the scene is as follows: the main character is somewhat different from his fellow tribesmen - he has his own ideas about "what is good and what is bad", he knows how to see the beauty of nature, draws. And it is precisely the fact that he is “different” that they cannot forgive him. And in a fit of rage, one of his tribesmen shouts: “He must be killed! He's not like us! Just look at his ears!"
Why am I? Why am I describing a completely different film in such detail? Why this one? Yes, for the same reason that I could cite the story of the Strugatsky brothers "The Ugly Swans" as an example, and the more famous work - "Mowgli" by Rudyard Kipling: remember how the wolves of the pack, provoked by Sherkhan, shout: "He is not like we, let him go!"
And there, and there, and many other places - both in fiction, and even in school history textbooks - you can find this repeating leitmotif of otherness, dividing everything according to the principle of “friend / foe”. And "alien" is "incomprehensible", and "incomprehensible" means "dangerous". And the fires of the Inquisition were burning, on which they burned such "others", and Africans, like "subhumans", worked on the plantations of the New World, which is proud of its high civilization. Yes, there are many examples. This is probably due to the deep and ancient instinct for preserving the species.
Perhaps this comes from the depths of the human unconscious. But we, along an intricate spiral of evolution, have nevertheless gone quite far from animals. Or not?
The film "Day Eight" is just a film about such a "other". Even about “others”: after all, the hero of the film is not an isolated case on this blue planet. And he is not a fictional "terminator" or "superman", not a comic book hero - he is taken from real life
He is down. A person with a birth defect. There is nothing you can do about a defect caused by genetics. He has mental retardation.
He lives in a special boarding school with others like him. But then he leaves there in search of his mother and finds himself in real life, to which he is not adapted, and she is also to him.
As soon as people notice his defect, they get scared, they have rejection. Although he does not give real reasons for fear: he behaves more than friendly. But the ancient instinct is triggered: another - incomprehensible - dangerous. So he tries to give the waitress a gift, she smiles favorably, but now he takes off his glasses - Down's disease is visible - and the girl runs away in horror.
The only ones who accept it are children. But it is believed that children are the most intolerant and cruel. But no - they play with him, they invite him to the holiday. I wonder why? Because in its development it is closer to them, or because this very "rejection" is not a biological product (then it would manifest itself in children, with their immediacy, in full) or social?
The second hero is the complete opposite of George (this is the name of the hero with Down's disease). This, of course, is an interesting directorial move - to create characters based on the principle of contrast. So, the second hero's name is Henri. He is a successful businessman, confident in himself and in the future. He smiles at all his colleagues and at his reflection in the mirror. But there comes a moment when his wife and children leave Henri.
There is a kind of split. Anri automatically continues to smile when he communicates with people, and when he comes home, the mask of well-being falls off him, he sadly remembers his wife and daughters. Henri falls into the trap of his own motto "Always smile". He himself does not understand what he needs in life, what he doesn't need, where is the way out of the impasse.
And the life paths of such completely opposite heroes by chance (or rather, by the will of the script) intersect. At first, their relationship seems "one-sided": Anri cares about George, and he gives him a lot of trouble.
But gradually everything changes: Anri also begins to need George. He opens up new sides of life to "friend Henri": together they look at the insects in the grass, "merge" with the tree. The spontaneity that he had lost for a long time returns to Henri - and therefore the truthfulness in the perception of both the external events of life and his feelings.
George opens the way for him to himself, to his feelings. Henri understands that career, business are not so important things in comparison with loved ones, and instead of the next meeting he arranges a festive fireworks for his daughter. George greatly changes Henri, his worldview - and for the better. Henri becomes more human, more humanistic.
Perhaps to someone the words "humanism", "altruism", "tolerance for others" will seem pretentious or hackneyed. If so, it's a pity. And similar symptoms are a signal for immediate psychotherapy in the form of watching the movie "Eight Day"
And in fact, this motion picture teaches tolerance towards others. Shows that if a person is not like everyone else, this does not mean that he is worse than others. He's just different, and he also has the right to life.
It is also essential that this film is not a tearful melodrama. Patients with Down syndrome are shown not with pity - but with sympathy, not from top to bottom - but on equal terms. Pity is really humiliating. And the look from above is wrong. Yes, some areas of activity are inaccessible to people with such a defect, but many other things are open to them. Let George live in a fantasy world where his mother and beloved singer appear to him.
And what, the so-called "normal people" do not fantasize, or what? For many writers, the worlds they created are more real than reality - and what, should they be diagnosed accordingly?
Goethe had a split personality, he saw himself from the outside - and this did not prevent him from writing Faust. The boundaries of the norm and pathology are unsteady, and you need to be able to be tolerant of others, to accept people as they are
It is no coincidence that the film bears a strange name - "Day Eight". According to the Bible, God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. And people like George are, as it were, created separately, on the eighth day …
So, the title of the film once again emphasizes that people with Down syndrome do not fit into the usual picture of the world. They are not even exactly “people”: God creates people separately, separately … And this contradiction between society and people with defects runs, as they say, a red line throughout the film.
I would like to dwell on one more point. On the choice of the topic itself - the problems of people with Down's disease. For some reason, it so happened historically that the blind, the deaf, the dumb are still pitied, but people with mental disabilities are treated much more sharply. How many swear words are associated with this topic!
The words "moron", "idiot" and others like that sound quite often and are offensive. But has anyone ever heard of someone being called "epileptic", "ulcer", "heart"? After all, these are also diseases in which the person himself is not guilty. Okay, lexical moments are cultural moments, nothing can be done about them. Therefore, it is gratifying to look at such a choice of a director and screenwriter, especially since the hero is played by a person who is actually endowed with Down's disease.
Alas, while the modern world is not well suited for the socialization of disabled people, people with congenital or acquired defects. That is why the ending of the film is tragic: the hero is broken to death
But, probably, everything is not so bad - the very fact of the existence of such a film testifies to this. But there are other films that also touch on a similar topic.