I've been harboring a lot of resentment lately. It's been bubbling up and it's now at the surface and I feel myself about to explode. Even though I'm in a place that I've always wanted to be in life, I can't help but feel anger at how long it took me to get here. And at how difficult the obstacles that impeded my path were to overcome.
Instead of allowing myself to fester in the misery of my resentments, I decided to work through these toxic thoughts. One of the ways I try to deal with issues in my life, is to read/watch stories with characters that have gone through similar life experiences. I picked out a few instances in classic film in which the main character lives a sheltered life and they find themselves thrust into a new life.
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) - Holly Golightly AKA Lula Mae Barnes
At the tender age of 14, Lula marries an older Texan man and is seemingly destined for a simple life of being a wife and mother. Lula annuls the marriage (or so she says) and transforms herself into Holly Golightly, a fashionable New Yorker who parties hard and lives beyond her means whenever possible. Holly hasn't completely severed her connection to her Lula past. It seems as though her husband still supports her brother who is in the army. The thing that fascinates me most about this movie is how Holly completely transforms herself into a new person. But since you can't completely sever blood ties, she doesn't lose all of Lula as he may have hoped.
Now, Voyager (1941) - Charlotte Vale
This movie means so much to me. So much in fact that I walked out of the Brattle in the middle of the screening, when the two idiotic women sitting behind me chose to mock this amazing film. I simply would not let these b****es ruin the movie. Charlotte Vale is a Bostonian, like me, but from a completely different generation. She is cursed by simply being born the last child of Vale matriarch Mrs. Vale. Her mother is determined to keep Charlotte under her complete control which includes managing her daughter's diet, wardrobe, social life and romantic life. Charlotte finds the strength, with the help of Dr. Jaquith, to become her own person and to lead her own life. The way she stands up to her mother inspires me when I have difficulties with my own mom.
A Patch of Blue (1965) - Selina D'Arcey
A sweet girl who suffers from the mental and physical abuse of a jealous and cruel mother, Selina has gone through so much but still maintains an optimism that is inspiring. Selina is blinded at a young age, a result of a fight between her parents. Her mother, Rose-Ann, is a part-time prostitute who brings random men whom for money. One of these men rapes Selina and the aging Rose-Ann continues to harbor jealousy towards her young and beautiful daughter while she herself grows older and uglier. Selina finds love and hope in the understanding arms of Gordon Ralfe who does not understand why Selina has to suffer so. He is black, she is white, he is seeing, she is blind but their differences are only on the surface. This story always gives me a good feeling inside. For me, the message of the movie is that no matter how dire your circumstances, there is always hope for a better life.
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