Absence is a rupture, a loss. But it also implies a quest. In her latest film, director Carole Laganière (East End Kids) explores various forms of absence—and its painful impact on our daily lives.
The film was inspired by Laganière’s own personal story, of the inevitable estrangement of her mother, whose memory is slowly being consumed by Alzheimer’s disease. This “anticipated separation” serves as a bridge to the film’s other subjects as they pursue their own personal quests: Ines, an immigrant who returns to her country of birth, Croatia, to find the mother who abandoned her; Deni, an American author who is finally able to search for his Quebec roots; and Nathalie, who is desperately looking for her missing sister. Through their stories, Absences explores the deepest regions of the psyche, where our sense of loss and resiliency co-exist.
Subtly weaving its links, the film is like a chain of life built on loss. It captures the experience of a void that’s waiting to be filled—like an empty hotel room ready to welcome a tormented life stuck in transit. Through its many voices, Absences speaks to us of the immense fragility of human emotions.
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Absences, Carole Laganière, provided by the National Film Board of Canada