When I chose the movie, I didn’t know what it was about nor its context. I saw the trailer and there I went, and the truth is that there had been some time since a movie had led me to reflect so much about the relationship between life and work. Living (2022), directed by Oliver Hermanus with the screenplay by Nobel Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro and an adaptation of the movie Ikiru (1952) of Akira Kurosawa, in some ways a mirror of some ways to live. Living is the story of an everyday man with a routine office life who decides to turn his existence on its head. And I suppose that it’s because these days I am questioning more than ever what it means to pick a path and follow it, but when the movie ended I spent days thinking about the things that can happen when we, after following a path, one decides to give up or change direction.
There are days when we may feel we are guided by the automatic pilot of our routine, the one that leads us to survive (in the best of cases) and disconnect from the reality that surrounds us. A pilot that may also lead us to lose excitement because we no longer think about what we do, or what we do when we do it. We simply follow that path because we have spent many years traveling it…But there are also days when one considers changing paths in the hope that things can change for the better because one can feel a prisoner of this other life one has chosen in the past and so fought for.
And it is there where the dilemma comes in—at what moment of our lives do we allow those ideals to die, or those forms of life with which we dreamed of, to settle in a path that no longer makes sense? And what can we do when we realize it?