Light Of My Life

A man known only to us as Dad (Casey Affleck) is camping deep in the forest with his young daughter, Rag (Anna Pniowsky). Only it turns out they’re not so much “camping” as “hiding” and “surviving.” They’ve been doing it for so long that Rag, who’s about 10, has never really known other people. Their lives depend on escape plans and emergency contingencies; their home consists of whatever of their campsite they were able to shove into a sack before fleeing. Dad is paranoid about everyone. They take no chances.

Is this another Leave No Trace? Sort of. But with a bit of Bird Box mixed in. A “female plague” has decimated the female population, leaving the country in ruins. Rag is one of only few girls left, and her father is desperate to keep the secret. I could easily imagine the intense pressure of safe-guarding what is most precious to him. We are never without a sense of dread. It’s actually a bit difficult to watch because the tension is enormous – we are always anticipating the next threat around the corner, even when their lives are quite peaceable.

Written and directed by Affleck, he’s awfully fond of really long scenes in which he tells rambling, long-winded stories. Sean had more patience for this than I did. I preferred exploring the unique bond that crops up between father and daughter when they have no one else in the whole world, and what it does to a kid to grow up with such vague but serious threats: everyone is the enemy, even if she’s not yet old enough to understand what these “bad men” want with her. Her innocence rubs up against our own understanding of the hostility toward her. It’s an agonizing watch, really, brutal and brilliant, a dismaying test of ethics.

8 thoughts on “Light Of My Life

  1. Lorna Cunningham-Rushton

    Loved it..loved the stories, loved how they loved each other, tried to convince myself that what he did to save her over and over was what I would do and that what she did was natural. I’m an apparently thoughtless reactor.

    On Thu, Dec 12, 2019, 9:22 AM ASSHOLES WATCHING MOVIES, wrote:

    > Jay posted: ” A man known only to us as Dad (Casey Affleck) is camping > deep in the forest with his young daughter, Rag (Anna Pniowsky). Only it > turns out they’re not so much “camping” as “hiding” and “surviving.” > They’ve been doing it for so long that Rag, who’s about” >

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  2. tubularsock

    “We are never without a sense of dread.”

    And you expect Tubularsock to spend money on THAT!

    Hell, Tubularsock gets that experience as Tubularsock reads the headlines every morning!

    No, if that’s the best offer, Tubularsock prefers to just eat his pop corn disheveled and alone in the gutter of life, thanks.

    Loved the review, Jay.

    Like

    Reply

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