One night, after dinner, I happened upon the film Im Winter Ein Jahn and even though I was coming in halfway through, I was able to follow the plot and understand what was going on.  Directed by Caroline Link, the movie is based on the book Aftermath by Scott Campbell about a family recovering from the loss of Alexander who commits suicide leaving them no clue or indication as to why.

The reason why this wasn’t just a weepy Lifetime Original Movie in German is because the story is told with restraint and grace rather than outlandish recurrences of screaming and crying.  The family does come to a place where healing can begin, but not until a fabulously-timed Peter Gabriel song, “Signal to Noise,” pulls the drama to an emotional climax.  There are no tearful group hugs, no recovered suicide note – nothing but the painful and very realistic process of grief, and the realization that not all questions are meant to be resolved.

In the end, art is the catalyst to their healing.  Eliane, the mother, commissions a portrait of her daughter Lilli and son Alexander by a reclusive and gruff German artist with many of his own problems.  The painting, although not what Eliane had wanted, ends up depicting the true nature of Lilli and Alexander’s relationship.

I highly recommend this movie  if you can find it and don’t mind reading subtitles.

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