After a tragic loss someone will go through a grieving process that will either be constructive or destructive. Mourning is a period of time when the person experiencing this loss begins to search for reconciliation and a way to deal with the sadness. They will attempt to move on, forgive and forget, the past. Freud wrote that mourning is a normal reaction to the loss of a love object, which is consciously known and identifiable. People mourning will express their sadness but will be able to eventually part from their love lost. Inversely, Freud says that melancholia develops when the sadness is inappropriate to the situation and becomes internalized. The person suffering from melancholia identifies the lost object or person with himself or herself on an unconscious level, leading to ego loss. Two films dealing with mourning and melancholia are Journey From The Fall and New Year Baby.
In New Year Baby, Socheata Poeuv losses her sense of self when her mother exposes what really happened to her family in Cambodia. Her two sisters are not actually her sisters, her brother is her half-brother, and her mother had a husband before Socheata's father. She travels back to Cambodia to mourn and try and reconcile her grief. She is able to constructively move forward by taking in and appreciating all the hardships her family went through but also understand that its in the past and its time to move on.
In Journey From The Fall, Mai is not able to go through the same mourning process as Scheata Poeuv. She has a very difficult time coping with the loss of her husband and the
tragedies that befell her. She is an example of a melancholic character that is not able to let go of her loss and therefore lets it t...
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... loss manifest differently in different people. Some will mourn and after some time will find consolation and peace. They will forgive and forget and move on with their lives not putting fault on themselves. Others will have a more difficult time expressing their sadness and become melancholics. These people will not get over loss and will constantly blame and hate themselves for it. It is possible that the events melancholics have faced may be to hard to deal with and this will keep them from forgiving and forgetting.
1. Freud, S. "Mourning and Melancholia." The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 56.5 (1922): 543-45. Print.
2. Journey from the Fall. Dir. Ham Tran. Perf. Kieu Chinh and Long Nguyen and Diem Lien |. 2006. Film.
3. New Year Baby. Dir. Socheata Poeuv Poeuv. Perf. Socheata Poeuv. 2006. Film.
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