Darcy and I watched the movie, by Lars Von Trier.
Quite possibly, the film is the best illustration, ever, of what it is like to live with either depression, or its sister, anxiety.
The film is a look at an upper class family on the eve of the end of the world. No one knows the world is ending in the beginning, although Justine, played by Kirsten Dunst, has her suspicions. Justine is one of the most gorgeous brides ever, in a wedding as picture perfect as you can imagine. Well, except for her dysfunctional parents who either let her down or make a scene. Gradually, we understand that Justine can’t enjoy the beauty of the event. She thinks it’s false, even though she doesn’t want to, and she makes a huge mess of it all. Her sister Claire who had planned the event on her beautiful estate, is troubled and can’t understand why Justine can’t just “be happy.” The day after the disastrous affair, Justine goes horseback riding with her sister, and she is unable to get her faithful stallion Abraham over a bridge. Justine looks up and notices a star is missing from the constellations.
The missing star has been identified as Melancholia, a planet that is possibly on a collusion course with earth. Claire’s extremely rich husband John is confident that the planet will miss earth, just like it missed Mercury. He reassures Claire, who is very worried, that the planet will provide for a beautiful sight, but that is all. Claire desperately wants to believe him, but you can see the doubt and concern on her face. Justine has returned, catatonic, but seems to improve as the situation grows more dire. With a calm certainty, she faces her doom with dignity, helping Claire and her son who are eventually deserted by John. (Money means nothing in the end?) Claire tries desperately to save her son from their shared fate, and tries to control their fate, but to no avail. She never really accepts what is happening.
I don’t suffer from depression, although I have had my sad moments during my infertility journey. I don’t think life is pointless, like Justine, but I understand her plight. She sees the world as it is: that we will all face death. She has a hard time going through the motions, based on her understanding of the end game. No matter how incredible certain moments are, she just can’t play at life.
Claire, I comprehend completely. Claire, who functions so well during Justine’s wedding, is lost when Melancholia approaches. She has tied her life to the material world, she has a son she wants to survive and she can’t face the end. While Justine relied upon Claire in life, Claire must rely on Justine when facing death.
No one wants to die, of course. But we know none of us get out alive.
Have you seen the movie? Did you think it is about depression and anxiety?