Have you seen this movie? It is a film without words and without colour – it is a black and white movie in the style of the earliest Hollywood. Yet it is these very absences which open up another dimension of experience.
It took some time for me to adjust these absences – my mind was especially missing words, ideas, and a plot. Instead i found the opening scenes were so obvious, like a pantomime, obvious jokes though made in a good natured way. My mind was thinking “Will I enjoy this?” “Can I really sit through this for an hour and a half?”
Thinking gives way to feeling
Yet little by little, without realizing, I found these images and sounds began to open up my feeling side more and more. I was relaxing into a different way of relating to what I was watching: the visual cues from the actors, their larger than life expressions and actions; the ever present orchestral music providing a commentary – a language all of its own. I began to follow this story without words, began to flow with it, feeling the situations and characters, empathising without needing to refer to understanding.
In one of the final scenes high drama is punctuated by a moment of comedy. It works so well, the comedic moment elicits involuntary laughter from the audience and then it is immediately back to an intense silence as we need to see how the situation will resolve. It was amazing to experience this immersion in the moment relating in a way so different to the usual mental alert required in our modern world of information overload and decreasing attention span. Here was an experience in the opposite direction, slowing down, relaxing into flow and feeling, following without words.
Netsach not Hod
If I were to place this experience in the Tree of Life I would say it was very Netsach (feeling) and not at all Hod (thinking). It crossed my mind afterwards if the state of mind I was in during the film was closer to my early childhood perceptions before language was really formed and I watched faces and events unfold in a more open and accepting way A film worth the experience, a film for the feeling side of being.