Forty Years from Yesterday

Forty Years from Yesterday

USA, 2013, 76 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: American Indie, Family Issues, Medical/Health
Program: New Directors Showcase
Language: English

American indie team Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck collaborate again to create a powerfully resonant film that explores the feelings of grief surrounding a loved one’s passing as the living are forced to move on.

Bruce returns from a morning workout and discovers that his beloved wife, Suzette, has died. He is overcome with grief at her unexpected passing, and we watch as his desperation unfolds. Juxtaposed with Bruce’s intense sorrow is the coolness of the undertakers, who go through the motions of preparing Suzette’s body for the funeral with a clinical sangfroid. Bruce shuffles through his days in a forlorn haze—a marked difference from the virile man we saw jogging at the start of the film—as the house he and his wife shared shows the couple's rich history together.

At times, Forty Years from Yesterday takes on an almost documentary air; the sparsely dialogued film relies on facial expressions to relay the love felt for the departed Suzette. Unlike a typical Hollywood-style movie about death, no played-out monologues or dramatic music force viewers’ emotion. Not a second of this minimalistic work’s screen time is wasted as it balances along a tightrope between removed distance and delicate intimacy. The result is a richly layered film that explores the complexities of loss—what the directors describe as “the inevitable questions we spend our lives avoiding.”

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DIRECTOR: Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck
Producer: Nick Case, Ryan Watt, Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck
Editor: Robert Machoian, Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck
Screenwriter: Robert Machoian
Cinematographer: Alexander Sablow
Principal Cast: Bruce Graham, Suzette Graham, Elizabeth Overton, Chelsea Word, Rebekah Mott, Robert Eddington, Wyatt Eddington

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