"Things We Lost in the Fire is a well-acted, beautifully filmed reflection on love, loss, addiction and recovery from life's obstacles."
This one was a bit tougher on the psyche; ruthlessly touching on some of my most aching bruises. I swear I saw my brother's children and the incredible injustice of a gorgeous family man dying way, way, way before his time.
Then there was my other brother. Incredibly portrayed by Benicio Del Toro; a bright, beautiful, kind-hearted man who is utterly ravaged by addiction. Although it nearly killed me, I was grateful that the movie had Jerry relapse instead of gratefully recovering because of the kindness of a near stranger. Addiction is brutal. It owns you.
So, of course, as the character named Jerry speaks (or doesn't speak...) candidly of his pain and struggle and craving.... I saw myself. I saw the agony of choosing day by day. I saw the bottom of the human condition- which I recognize in my own addiction.
I saw the redemption in loving one's neighbour; the personal risk of loving at all; the injustice of who dies when, and who keeps breathing in and out without living at all. I saw the grip of addiction- the constant, ruthless, screaming torture of the mind and body at war.
I saw me, and him, and him, and her. And I hoped that the tears I cried washed some of the horrer out. I hoped that something Jerry said would resonate and stay with me and help me find my way. I hoped for better things for the brothers in my life- one who left his family behind and badly needs to be here to see their beauty, and one who lives crippled with addiction.
I swear I saw their faces there.
It gave me a tenuous, painful hope for all of us. God be with us.