Sometimes depression can be triggered or exacerbated by life trauma. Many, if not most, people experience significant depression after the loss of a loved one. The 85-year-old Adele, star of Valentina Casadei’s “Blessed Days,” has lost Victor, her husband of 63 years. The timespan seems almost unfathomable in today’s culture. The grief, one can only imagine, must be unbearable.
Adele is obviously depressed, but it’s a little more subtle than one would think. She has trouble getting out of bed, and her daughter worries about her. She becomes consumed with thoughts of Victor’s presence. But the film takes the stance that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As she imagines Victor hanging a painting and walking with her through a museum, clearly an interest they shared, she draws comfort from the fact that she still feels a connection to him and his memories.
“Blessed Days” is not a heavy-handed film about grief. Instead, it portrays it as an ever-present burden some people have to bear, that is not even crushing them so much as walking beside them. A gentle piano score and use of light highlight this walk–it may be a little slower, a little more dreamy, but it’s always forward. When the museum attendant asks where Victor is that day, Adele simply replies, “I’m alone today.”
Nor does it treat Adele’s belief that Victor is still with her in a sense as crazy, or even detrimental. It gently acknowledges that these feelings or memories are just a part of people who suffer from grief, just a part of daily life.
Valentina Casadei’s French short “Blessed Days” played on Sunday, 10/13/19, in the first shorts block from 3:00 p.m. to 4:20 p.m.