By Basak Aydin (Turkey)
Sound. A blessing and a curse.
This is a beautiful film. Because it lays down before us a life that we all experience. Perhaps you do not relate to Ruben’s experience at all and yet you feel exactly what he is going through. We all survive in life. Each one of us survives a different thing. And while we’re in the process of surviving we hope to find our older selves again, not knowing that person does not exist anymore. We dream of feeling like ourselves one more time, not knowing we are someone else now.
When we try to go back however, something feels off. Our old lives are not comfortable anymore. That is when we look at our new selves and think, ”I’m anew.” We feel disappointed, angry, sad. But then, we feel peace. We feel peace in knowing that we survived. This new version of ourselves knows something our older selves does not; growth.
What is so great about the ending of the film is that Ruben comes to this realization completely spontaneously. And that is exactly how it happens in real life too. We don’t have this major event where we realize we love ourselves and proud to have grown. It happens randomly, when we’re on the bus or when we’re taking a walk. It hits us suddenly. With this comes, self-love and acceptance. A kind of love like we never felt before. A kind of love our older selves can never know. Self-growth is a one way road after all, you don’t get to go back and that is exactly what makes you grown.
Just like Ruben, we are all addicted. Addicted to the life we once had. To the people we once knew. Even to the music we used to listen to. Just like Ruben’s doctor explains to him, after he gets the implants, “Your brain is tricking you into thinking you can actually hear.” That’s why he finds it so disturbing when he first gets the implants on. He’s so excited to hear again, but the sounds are just a little off. Our brains trick us all the same. We think the old days were so much better and that we were happier, but it is only a twisted trick that nostalgia plays on us. Because the past is known. There is no uncertainty. With new struggles ahead of us, we do not know. It is scary. Of course we do not realize we are meant to come out on the other end stronger, wiser. We mourn with Ruben, but at the end we understand.
I cried because I understand. I know. You go back, but there is only a ghost there and its body does not exist. Our tragedies, when you learn how to navigate through them and become anew, become inseparable from us. It is like a cruel gift, but still a gift.
I would recommend this film to everyone. To understand and to know what life really is.