Being More Nana

A film, which I watched about a year ago, still has me under its spell. Valérie Massadian’s first film Nana, is about a four year old girl who lives with her mother in a stone house in the forest. Apart from the child actress Kelyna Lecomte’s amazing performance and the film’s stunning visuals, what most affected me was the idea of being more ‘Nana.’ The film’s main character comes home one day from school and is unable to find her mother and contrary to what’s expected, she doesn’t react to the silence that has suddenly overtaken her home. On her own, she tries to continue the day’s routines. With the help of a stool she is able to reach the windows and air out the house, prepares her breakfast even though she spills milk everywhere, and carries the firewood. However, don’t think that I’m giving an example of a self-sufficient child that you’d literally want to adopt or the portrayal of a will to hold onto life after loss. It’s the strength to cope with change that I found inspiring. The effort of coming to terms with the present situation instead of revolting.

When life’s material and immaterial issues arise, don’t we sometimes just give up? Instead of focusing on a day ahead, don’t we become stifled by the burden of an uncertain future? Don’t we delve into dark tunnels? It’s during these situations that I think of the girl in the film, and tell myself to be “more Nana.”

When you find yourself needing more strength in order to keep a level head in this cycle called life, remember her as well. Instead of crying out when you’re too short to reach the windows, get on a stool and calmly air out the house.



Translated by Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

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