The discarded and the cinema

Starting with the winner of the Oscar for best film of the year, the film by Beijing director Chloe Zhao NomadlandThe author reflects on the discarded of whom Pope Francis often speaks.

June 1, 2021-Reading time: 2 minutes

I had been warned that it is a difficult, non-commercial, slow film. These were my expectations when I was about to see Nomadlanda film that won some of the most prized statuettes at the last edition of the Oscars: Best Director, Best Picture and Best Leading Actress.

As the screening progressed, I felt more and more moved by Fern's story, not only because of Frances McDormand's excellent performance, the shots that traverse the gorgeous landscapes or Ludovico Einaudi's soundtrack. Nomadland is much richer than it seems, as can be seen in the subtle dialogues between its protagonists.

The film brings the viewer face to face with people who, as a result of various painful circumstances, are cut off from the American economic and social system, and wander from one part of the country to another in search of a livelihood, living poorly on the four wheels of their rickety vans. Kind and vulnerable stateless people, who carry a burden of unhealed wounds and who move one to think of the discarded who are so often on the lips of Pope Francis.

Surely if it were not for Chloé Zhao, director and screenwriter of the film, who was interested in a non-fiction book on this subject - written in 2017 by journalist Jessica Bruder - and wanted to transfer this story to the big screen, many of us would not have suspected that, in the most advanced nation in the world, there are a million people living in precarious conditions on four-wheeled houses.

Some of the films that were nominated for this year's American Academy Film Awards deal with issues that resonate deeply in the heart of the Church. From the social outcasts of Nomadlandthe old man who crosses the road of no return of forgetfulness, played by Anthony Hopkins in The Father

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