Amour

Amour-poster-french

Besides Amour, I have only seen two other films by Michael Haneke: The Seventh Continent and The White Ribbon. On the surface, Amour appears to be different from the others, but it actually deals with similar themes, in particular the question of how it is possible for ordinary people to do terrible things.

Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) are an elderly married couple living in Paris. One day, Anne suffers a stroke. Her doctors perform an operation on her carotid artery, but it is botched, leaving her paralyzed on her right side. For a time, she seems to be improving, but then her condition starts to rapidly deteriorate. Georges is forced to take care of her, which increasingly puts an emotional burden on him. His daughter, Eva (Isabelle Huppert), urges him to have Anne put in a hospital, but he refuses, because he promised Anne that he would never do that.

From the beginning, one can see the tragedy that this situation is moving towards. At times, Georges seems to sense this himself, but he seems incapable of acting any way other than he does. His devotion to Anne becomes a trap both for himself and for her.

This film has an emotional resonance for me. During the last ten years of his life, my father, who suffered from Type 2 diabetes, was almost continuously ill. This put a terrible strain on my mother and on other members of my family. At what point does letting go become the most humane thing to do?

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3 Responses to “Amour”

  1. Andrew Coates Says:

    La Pianiste and Caché are very good as well.

    This film resonated with me as well, and probably anybody who’s seen their parents dying from long illnesses.

    Amour is simply beautiful.

  2. ciferi35 Says:

    Espero poder verla pronto.

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