On Difficult Films : Kartina Richardson

Anyone can understand any film if they are open to it. I firmly believe this. There is no correct way to understand a movie, even if the director believes there is. In reality a movie is difficult because of our resistance to it. We resist these films because they peel. Peel when very often we’d prefer to keep our layers intact. I battle with myself about this everyday. Andrei Tarkovsky’s The Mirror is a film I’ve seen several times, and I can state without hesitation that it is the most profoundly meaningful film I’ve experienced thus far. Having said that, it’s the absolute last movie I ever want to watch. I will put on anything overThe Mirror, usually a comedy I’ve worn threadbare. It’s a miracle that I’ve seen the film at all. Now this is complete absurdity. The Mirror is cathartic and each viewing results in a deeper, quieter, connection with myself that lasts for days. I am exhilarated, energized, and full of ideas.It makes my life better. And yet, in full knowledge of the intense pleasure and peacefulness the film gives me, more often that not I refuse to watch it. The peeling of layers disrupts routine living and thinking. And though this disruption is vital, it takes enormous mental and emotional strength to allow it.