Cinema has always been a medium for exploring taboo subjects and challenging social norms. Three films that delve into such themes with sensitivity and depth are “Far from Heaven”, “Talk to Her”, and “Birth”. Set in different times and places, these movies deal with controversial topics such as interracial relationships, euthanasia, and reincarnation. Despite the taboo nature of these themes, the films handle them with nuance and care, providing insightful commentary on societal norms and expectations. In this article, we will take a closer look at these movies and examine them. They push the boundaries of what is acceptable in mainstream cinema. Join us on a journey through these thought-provoking films that offer unique perspectives on the complexities of the human experience. Here we’ll talk about Exploring Taboos and Social Norms in Far from Heaven and more.
“Far from Heaven”, Todd Haynes, 2002
A drama about segregation and the impossibility of love between people from different worlds is set in an upscale Connecticut suburb during the reactionary 1950s. A beautiful wife, mother, and housewife. Katie lives the middle-class lifestyle of being married to a successful man and considers herself an accomplished person. After her husband is detained by the police and has one accident. Katie finds out that her marriage is not as strong as it seems, and seeks solace in the company of her gardener’s son. The African American Raymond. Far From Heaven sends its regards to the films of Douglas Sirk and gently weaves moments of racial prejudice, discrimination, and taboo sexuality into a melodramatic story: living in a repressive environment makes us either endlessly alone or hiding our true colors.
“Talk to her” (“Hable con ella”), Pedro Almodovar, 2002
A virtuoso melodrama about four heroes locked within the walls of a Spanish hospital: two men. A journalist and a nurse – are on duty at the beds of their beloved woman in a coma. One – the famous Spanish bullfighter – fell into a coma, having promised before her death to tell her beloved something important. The second – a ballerina of the famous theater and a fan of Pina Bausch – was hit by a car. In one pair, a passionate relationship was interrupted, in the other, the relationship had not even really begun. While both women are in a coma, doctors advise not to cherish any expectations. But the motives and curiosity of both go beyond the usual care. With its soapy plot twists and Almodóvar’s usual overarching motifs (bullying, Spanish guitar, repressed sexuality, and anomalous passion), “Talk to Her” works like magic:
Birth, Jonathan Glaser, 2004
A strange visitor visits a widow who has just been proposed by her new partner. A 10-year-old boy warns that he is the reincarnation of his ex-husband, who died by accident while jogging in the park exactly 10 years ago. Depressed Anna is at first surprised, then angry, and then taken aback by the confessions of Sean who suddenly appeared. In fact, he names keywords and important facts of their common biography, not known to anyone else, the more details Sean reveals, the less Anna wants to get married and the more she is drawn into the maelstrom of past traumas and memories. This is never the film “Ghost”, as it might seem. But a heavy psychological thriller about many years of non-healing trauma, delusions, and betrayal. Almost all the power of the silent and tense film is in the hands of Nicole Kidman.
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