Movie Review: Welcome to Marwen
This is an Oscar contender and if it doesn’t get nominated, well that means the Academy is still too white. That being said, this movie was painful to watch. It touches on trauma, PTSD, panic attacks, flashbacks. It touches on how these things can and do often get us stuck in a loop.
How the current crop of drugs used as treatment can keep us dissociated and make us addicted to that. How that can keep us from healing, make us see things that aren’t there and meet things that are there. How important representation is. And sadly, how much hate there still is in this world for things deemed different outside the Caucasian Heteronormative construct that dominates society.
It also touches on the power of artistic practice as a way to heal oneself, and the power of the human spirit and the resiliency to overcome. It shows that human beings are social animals and we need that interaction, tribal support, to effect healing. But ultimately, it’s this person’s choice to step through the pain.
As a critique, I’ll point out the film also shows a bunch of women doing emotional labor for a queer person. The only thing that I didn’t like so much was that not all the women in the cast got enough screen time and some appeared only as dolls for the protagonist to manipulate and exploit for their art.
The character meanwhile makes these women out to be their savior, and occasionally love interest. Conversely, their real enemy is also embodied by a female witch. Being queer of some variety it also makes a lot of sense as they are navigating trauma that is related to their identity.