Bygones (1989)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - Netherlands  |   MPAA Rating - R
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A young woman reflects upon the events surrounding the decline and eventual deaths of her parents. Presented in a nonlinear fashion, her tale offers an emotionally wrenching look into the aging process and at the effects it can have on those trying to cope with their inevitable loss. The film begins just after the woman has picked up her recently deceased father's few personal effects from the nursing home she was forced to place him in when his senility became unmanageable for her and her brothers and sisters. She sits at a table playing absently with index cards containing brief chapters from her parents' lives. She remembers how her father had been an attorney general and how painful it was to watch his memory loss progress to the point where he couldn't recognize his own family. When he became incontinent, the family was forced to put him in a home. His wife remains aloof as he is taken away. But then she too is not spared and her health begins to fail. The daughter hires nurse after nurse, but her mother fires each one. She becomes so cantankerous that the siblings get her an apartment where she can be cared for. Unfortunately, her decline is swift and she later dies in the hospital. Her husband, in a brief moment of lucidity demands to attend the funeral and once there is consumed with bereavement.

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Keywords

childhood, death, decision, dignity, disintegration, doctor/nurse, elderly, family, father, funeral, grief, health, heartbreak, hospital, lawyer, life, memory, mind, nursing-home, parent, recollection, revelation, senility, sibling, understanding, wife