Zachary’s review published on Letterboxd:
I woke up today feeling the need to watch this. I'm not sure why. I haven’t even been thinking about it recently. I'm not sure what this meant to me the first time. I couldn't even remember all that much about it. Some things just call out to you sometimes, and I know I would've felt awful if I didn't answer. I had this feeling sitting in the back of my head that it was important. It is.
I haven't loved my mother for a long time. Not for years. In fact, I don't think there's a single memory that I could conjure up in my head where I was happy to be around her. For my entire life, she has demanded to be at the forefront of my existence. Her awful ideals and her numerous, hurtful words were the only things that I had to latch onto when I was younger. If my life is a tree, that's where my roots are. There's no way for me to get rid of them without destroying the very essence of what I am. I wish I could. I really wish I could. I've tried. I can't.
Ever since those roots formed, everything else has felt wrong. A certain hatred festered inside of me. I couldn't figure out who I was for the longest time because of it. I suffered massive bouts of depression and suicidal ideations without ever being able to pin down the cause. I grew older, but I couldn't grow up. I didn't know how. I still don't think I know how. I've tried for so long to move on. I want to grow new roots and plant them somewhere else, but every time I try, it feels impossible. It might be. Every day, I have to wake up and tell my mom that I love her. Every single day.
There'll come a time when I'm finally out of this house. I won't have to repeat the same mantras of praise that I do so often in a futile attempt to uphold my mother's fragile ego. I'll be somewhere else, hopefully far away. Even then, though, I know that she won't be gone. Not only will my roots still be in her ground, but she'll still want to be a part of my everyday life. My sister's in college and she talks to her daily. She constantly asks me if I'll keep in touch when I move away. I don't want to. I really hope that I don't have to.
My mother has never tried to know me. Any time I do something that she doesn't like, she always harkens back to when I was a toddler. "You were so peaceful back then. You smiled a lot more." I didn't know what was happening to me. I couldn't tell her to stop. I couldn't think for myself. She wants me to be nothing. She wants to control every part of me. I don't want it. I really, really wish that I could just move on. I try a little every day. I don't know if I've gotten anywhere.
I was on my own for so long. Even my dad and sister couldn't help. It's so easy to spiral out of control when there's no one there to stop you. I couldn't make friends. I couldn't do anything. It took me until I was in the 9th grade to find someone who cared. Someone that I could open up to. Someone who would finally listen to me and care about everything that I had to say. Someone who could share in my experiences and finally allow me to gain some of my own ground that didn't belong to my mother. Thankfully, that person is still in my life. And, even more thankfully, I've been lucky enough to find a multitude of people like them since then. I don't know where I'd be if I hadn't met them, but I know that it wouldn't be good.
The only way that people can overcome their own struggles is through other people. Someone willing to put up with all of your odds and ends, fully embracing you in spite of literally anything. It doesn't even take a certain degree of passion, either. It's more than enough to just be there. With enough time, you'll both come to realize that there's something to be gained from simply coexisting. It's enough to change a life. It's enough to save a life.
Don't give up on people.
"You never know about tomorrow. All we know is that tomorrow, we'll still be together."