What Will People Say was one of my favorite films at AFIFest this year. I wasn’t alone in my estimation of the work; it also won the Audience Award in the New Auteurs section. It is a powerful and engaging film in which two different value systems collide within the life of a teenager as she grows up with connection to two cultures.
I saw this film on Thanksgiving weekend, and it was amazingly appropriate. So much of our time is spent being oblivious to the many things we have because we so often focus on the things we do not have. That is very much Lady Bird’s experience with the world.
As Summer 1993 opens, children are playing in the street. One of them looks at six-year-old Frida (Laia Artegas), and asks, “Why aren’t you crying?” Is that part of the game or does Frida have reason to cry?
In Milton’s Secret, eleven year old Milton (William Ainscough) seems to have the weight of the world on his shoulders. His parents (Mia Kirshner and David Sutcliff) are constantly worried about business and finances. He’s bullied by his neighbor.
Grief is one of the universal themes that film can address. As we watch the Reed family deal with the grief in their life, we feel a connection with them because we have been there as well.