Beanpole ★★★★

There's nothing left inside of you to make life.

If we can imagine the trauma of war as an earthquake, Beanpole is primarily focused on the emotional aftershocks. Starved people are desperate for food. A boy who's never seen a dog. A quadriplegic waiting to die. And that's just the supporting characters you meet in the opening 10 or so minutes! After that short time it becomes clear the hospital is not a place for healing, but a place where wounded people try in vain to comfort themselves and one another.

Within it's beautifully vibrant frames, it paints an evocative portrait of the wounded and the exhausted - women and men who have, "fought and survived." And in that portrait we find these survivors grappling with the impossible cost of both survival and healing for those who feel "meaningless inside." Immaculate performances and precise camerawork help to charge each still glance, each gesture and each line of dialogue with deeply felt emotion.

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