This week’s pick of the week is the incredible story of loss, mourning, and coming to terms with both a disaster and each other. After a devastating fire that not only ravaged her town but also took her family home, Beth heads back to where she grew up to help her father. As both of them deal with the aftermath of this incident, it’s uncertain how both of them will now handle each other in the wake of what’s happened.
Proof Of Loss is a poignant and beautiful film, full of loss and heartbreak, but also of rebirth from the ashes of something so trying. Taking stock of an entire life, or in this case, several lives, can be traumatic. Remembering everything you’ve accumulated, all of the meaning behind it, and how certain items meant more to one person than it does to another is a difficult journey. When something as all-consuming as a fire takes away so much, seeing what’s left, and what’s now gone forever, can be one of the most difficult things a person can go through.
This trauma also affects people differently, as both Beth and her father, Charles, show. Beth’s devastation of losing the things that belonged to her mother, all of the items that reminded Beth of a person she loved so much, is apparent in every word she speaks to Charles. Charles’ feelings are a bit more complex, but entirely justifiable. Feeling the loss of the person he loved more than anything all over again as the fire took it all away leaves him looking like a man conflicted: hurt by living the loss all over again, and almost glad for the experience, as those reminders are no longer there to bring him pain with every glance. It hurts to watch, but is also this incredible reminder of how everyone sees things differently, how the most painful of events can push and pull at emotions in such varied ways. Beth and Charles, while coming from very different mental and emotional states, are both feeling the loss of their home and everything in it, coming together despite those differences.
The chemistry between the characters in this film is specific and palpable. The love they have for each other, the differences in them personally, all of it comes through. The father/daughter dynamic reads in each moment, with both actors living in the shared trauma of these characters. While both actors are incredibly talented, the dynamic is likely helped by the fact that Charles, played by Dylan McDermott, is accompanied in this film by his daughter Colette, who plays Beth. This real-life family dynamic lends well to the film, and their familial chemistry rings through in both the actors and the characters.
Director Katherine Fisher and writer Laura Zak encapsulate the state of those who suffer great loss with beauty and pain, with Fisher’s work behind the camera immediately highlighting the devastation that has been felt after such a traumatic experience. Zak’s emotional resonance rings through in the character performance, both actors really bringing their words to life.
Proof Of Loss brings so much into just under its fourteen minute runtime. It sweeps through loss and reconnection, conflict and understanding. Through the flames of devastation and into the rising ashes of renewal, in both the physical and emotional forms. There is no wonder why this was selected as the Pick of The Week, and any fans of film in all its myriad forms of expression should be very eager to give this one a watch. Be sure to check it out as soon as possible, only on BitPix.