Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Secret Life of Words

A quiet film, "The Secret Life of Words" starts by introducing Hanna. Deaf, she works in a factory and lives in isolation, exhibiting some OC behavior. Her boss forces her to take a holiday, which she dutifully does by traveling to Ireland. There, she overhears a phone conversation and, revealing that she is a nurse, offers to tend an injured man on an oil rig.

Hanna has suffered a monstrous tragedy in her past, which is slowly revealed. Likewise, the fire on the oil rig that killed one man and injured another, carries its own tragedy, which is also slowly revealed. The sick bay, an island within the island of the oil rig, provides a safe place for both Hanna and her charge to reveal their injured selves, both physical and emotional.

The oil rig is populated by a small crew of "quirky alones". The men are drawn to Hanna despite her initial aloofness, and her interaction with them allows her to emerge from her self-imposed shell.

The movie is sad, but there is an undercurrent of joy (partially provided by the sound track) that illustrates how the human spirit can carry forward despite unspeakable horrors.

The movie is driven by dialog, hence played well on my small TV. Highly recommended.

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