“Everybody grieves, and yet we don’t talk about it.” That’s Patrick Wang, the director of The Grief of Others, as he explains why a film dealing with loss matters and can connect to an audience. Patrick Wang dropped by the DailyMotion Lounge at SXSW 2015 with The Grief of Others author Leah Hager Cohen to tell us all about their new film, why stories about serious emotions can be marketable, and how stories about grief connect with audiences and help us find the upside of loss.
The Ryries have suffered a loss: the death of a baby just fifty-seven hours after his birth. Without words to express their grief, the parents, John and Ricky, try to return to their previous lives. The couple’s children, ten-year-old Biscuit and thirteen-year-old Paul, responding to the unnamed tensions around them, begin to act out in exquisitely idiosyncratic ways. But as the family members scatter into private, isolating grief, an unexpected visitor arrives, and they find themselves growing more alert to the hurt, humor, warmth, and burdens of others—to the grief that is part of every human life but that also carries within it the power to draw us together.
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