May 1 2013

Criterion Collection: The grieving process in My Life as a Dog


In April I began a personal challenge. I saw a Ted Talk by Matt Cutts, Try Something New for 30 Days. So In April I wrote a poem every day. In May I am going to see a movie I haven’t seen and blog on it. I plan to blog every day instead of randomly. I’ll blog on some new movies that I see in theaters or on Netflix, but I have the Criterion Collection on Hulu and decided to watch some things that interest me from that Collection. I started with…

May 1 My Life as a Dog

Lasse Hallstrom’s 1985 film captures 12-year-old Ingemar’s experience with grief. His perspective is a jumble because adults make decisions about his life without explaining them. And because he’s a kid and processes experiences like a kid.

His mother is terminally ill and his beloved dog has been taken away. The adult who seems to be making decisions for his mother about the boys may be a relative. Whoever he is, he gives him no details about either of them. Ingemar has been branded a troublemaker and told he is too much for his mother to handle. His relationship with his older brother is shaky at best and the two are separated and sent to live with different relatives.

Ingemar responds to a series of impressions, trying to make sense of what is happening in his world. He copes in a number of ways that are both childlike and profound. Continue reading