Title: An Elephant in the Room
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Director: Katrine Philp
Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes
What It Is: Following children in the support group “Good Grief”, in this film, it examines grief through the eyes of children.
What We Think: A very difficult documentary to get through. Not for lack of quality, but obviously the subject matter is quite heavy and painful. And it’s a theme mused upon a lot, loss and trauma from the perspective of youth. In a way, it almost feels like something hard to portray, at least to me, without feeling a bit exploitive, but An Elephant in the Room does it’s best to be as unobtrusive in documenting its subjects. The subjects, being Nicky, Peter, Nolan, Nora, Kimmy, and Mikayla, children at various stages in the grieving process of a loved one, or loved ones. Group therapy has them doing various activities and exercises to explore, express, and release their thoughts and emotions. Along with the raw feelings of confusion, anger, sadness, and pain. These exercises are an interesting element to the documentary in their own right. Personally I’d never seen a lot of them before, and from an outsider’s perspective, it is fascinating to watch. Touching back on the overall subject of the film, as humans, we can’t live without death, and in order to continue living, we must find ways to cope. It’s hard coping as adults, even with experiences with a loss already, but this explores the first losses. It’s inspiring in a way, watching therapists and instructors doing these things and working with these children to help them process and heal in the best ways possible.
Our Grade: B+, As I said before, it is quite a difficult film to get through, but I would definitely suggest giving it a watch. It almost feels like therapy in itself, as if you’re learning to cope right alongside the children. Still, the documentary can be enjoyed from a personal perspective view, or an objective one. Either way- prepare to get emotional.