A White Ballad
A White Ballad is the story of an old couple that have been together for a very long time. Unfortunately, the woman has developed a terminal disease and does not have much time left to live. The couple have always led a quiet life. They do not talk to each other. They do not look at each other in the eyes. To them, words are meaningless. With death on their doorstep, they look back on their lives, their relationship, and on life and death. This film begins with the conversation of a middle-aged woman, who represents death, and a stork who acts like the woman’s alter-ego. By depicting the couple’s emotions through narrations, the film repeatedly contrasts images of children, who represent life, with images of death, as well as images of the streets. The message of A White Ballad is that death is always around us and that life and death always go together. To this old couple, death is a blessing. The film ends with a scene where the widowed husband sings and dances with death. Through the use of elaborate space and mis-en-scene, the director has successfully created beautiful and interesting images of life and death. Along with this, the director seeks to look deep into the meaning of words and existence through poetic narrations expressing solitude and emptiness. To quote the director’s words, “this film is a cinematographic journey of words and images, about isolation, childhood, decay and love”.
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