I saw "Les Miserables" for the second this evening. The first was in America, in a living room with my mother and brother. Tonight it was in Japan in a tatami room with 3 American and 4 Japanese friends. We watched it with Japanese subtitles.
With a name like "Les Miserables," there's really no false advertising. It's a dark movie. But seeing it in the presence of the sweetness of my Japanese friends was a new and eye-opening experience. One of them sitting next to me on floor spent the better part of the movie clinging to my arm, disappearing behind my arm at the sound of every gun shot. I felt the thickness of my shoulder standing in the way of her perception, protecting her from the shadows on the screen.
Luckily there are still puppies in the world. And these movies have endings. Once I told her that it would be ok after the last difficult scene (from what I could remember) she departed from my arm with a full and unapologetic trust in my words, no looking back, no additional clinging or acknowledgement of her previous need for comfort and protection. Such a sincere hold and subsequent release. What a strange thing it must be to have children. To create a filter on the world and to be aware of such a need.
I think next time we'll be aiming for a little lighter. Disney, perhaps, or at least something with flowers and songs in a major key. Might as well enjoy the time.