I recently rewatched Midsommar, and damn if it isn’t the movie for the moment. Beyond the obvious seasonal associations, I found myself thinking about the nature of trauma and the catharsis to be found in sharing our grief. From it’s opening sequence, director Ari Aster’s folk-horror classic unfurls with a steady, measured pace. With stunning folk art depictions of the horrors to come, viewers are in the unique position of seeing the situation unfold with a clarity not afforded to the characters— rather like the experience of trauma. The pièce de résistance occurred for me, though, not in a moment of shock or horror, but in the now-iconic crying scene. For those who have yet to see the movie (what are you waiting for?), actor Florence Pugh’s sobbing is mirrored by the women around her in a moment of collective grief. Watching it, I was struck by the incredible catharsis of sharing one’s feelings and having our experienced mirrored by another. And really, who doesn’t feel like wailing at the tops of our lungs these days?
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All “Midsommar” images property of A24.