“Each day is a new day. We get up each morning and start again.”
That is especially true for the characters in Sanremo from director Miroslav Mandić. As dementia removes memories, it can make each day a horror, a challenge, or a wonder. Sanremo is Slovenia’s entry for Best International Film Oscar consideration.
Bruno and Duša live in the same senior home. At times they connect for breakfast, on in the arts room, or doing exercises. They enjoy each other, but each time it is as if they are meeting for the first time.
Bruno is a wanderer. When alone his mind goes back to his home, his wife, and his dog. He often escapes the facility and goes off to feed his long-gone dog. Duša is a bit more in a fog. She goes along with whatever activities are available. Bur she revels in the lawn sprinklers, standing in them looking up in wonder. Later, she does the same in a snowfall.
There is a poignancy to this story. It’s not quite a romance, but these two people with empty lives manage to find each other and enjoy one another, but cannot create an ongoing relationship. Yet, we sense that when they are apart, they feel the absence of the other, even if they don’t know what it is they miss.
There is great loss for these characters, to be sure. But as we watch Duša, we sense that there is a blessing in being able to be astonished by such simple things as water and snow. The world around us can indeed be hard and challenging. But sometimes, amidst those trials, we may be able to find something that will kindle wonder within our souls.
Sanremo is available on Film Movement Plus.
Photos courtesy of Film Movement.