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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Yesterday

Last night, a friend and I rented the film "Yesterday". Apparently, I am a little slow on the take, because I had never heard of it, though the Oscar committee did last year and it was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. It was beautifully done. It's rare to find a movie that is so simple, yet so touching. It is the story of a woman in South Africa named Yesterday who finds out she has AIDS. Her husband is also diagnosed with AIDS, and while being sick herself, she takes amazing, tender care of him during his illness, which he succumbs to quicker than she. It's a story about love - the love between friends, the love between husband and wife, and the love of a woman for her daughter. I was struck by so many things in the movie. One was how spoiled we are. Yesterday lives in a home with no electricity and no running water. She has to carry water from a well on the other side of her village every day. She has to walk for over 2 hours to see a doctor when she falls ill - and several times, the line is so long by the time she makes it there that she has to turn around and walk the 2 hours back without even being seen. Something to remember when we get upset about waiting in a waiting room for a half hour before seeing the doctor. She is also so amazingly strong, in body, mind and emotion. Her village is scared of her husband's illness, and wants him to leave. She tries to get him into a hospital, but it is full, with a long waiting list. So she builds him a hut outside the village to take care of him. She builds this hut with pieces of scrap metal and wood she collects and uses her own two hands to put together this structure. And I was proud of myself for changing the battery in my smoke detector (which is located on the ceiling, necessitating me climbing onto my kitchen counter) all by myself. It doesn't seem like such an accomplishment in comparison. Throughout it all, she is reticent to ask for help from anyone. She develops one close friendship, and that friend is truly there for her in so many ways, really caring about her. And still, she asks for favors only when she absolutely has to. Her attitude throughout is amazing - she never asks why, never places blame, never gives up. She loves her daughter and her husband unconditionally, only wanting the best for both of them, never wanting for herself. I really was touched by the film. It's rare that I see a movie that moves me so much in its simplicity of showing human courage. I am glad I stumbled upon it, because that is basically how I found it. It's definitely worth anyone's time to see it.

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