133: Detachment (July, 20)

"Whatever is on my mind, I say it as I fell it, I'm truthful to myself: I'm young and I'm old, I've been bought and I've been sold, so many times. I am hard-faced, I am gone. I am just like you".

Detachment gave me a staggering sense of mourning. We should count the time here by seconds, not minutes, because every one of them explodes with the hopeless sense that our best doesn't matter, but it is actually what makes the difference. For whom, I don't know. But it is like it has to be. The only way to be. Be truthful, no matter what. There's no other way. 

At its beginning, there's a few testimonials about being a teacher. How it was a better alternative to a driver's job. How it was the last choice, but a inevitable one. How it is important to make a difference. And here's that omnipresent question again: to whom? And I don't think that is the main character's mission here. His only option in life is to be true to himself, and that is a curse and a blessing that he carries everyday, in every tiny instant of his life. But he has no other way, and so he lives his days being hammered constantly for just caring about what is around him. As I said, there's no other option for us in life.

He, Henry, says at one point: "We have such a responsibility to guide our young so that they don't end up falling apart, falling by the wayside, becoming insignificant". And this is the reason of the permanent mourning during the movie, because it is not always that we achieve that. In the setting of a battered school, what matters in life is debated in the overwhelming scenario of today's educational system and its attempts to make sense, with people getting more and more lost in the middle of it. There's no formula to be a good person, a good teacher, a good parent but, maybe, the real care, the kind that come from being attentive to yourself, to others and to what is around us. Be really caring. And that's why I come back to the beginning: there's no other option but be true to oneself, in order to achieve this care and attention, no matter how painful it shows up to be. 

At last, but not least, an outstanding cast helps beautifully to tell the story in this mandatory movie (you should really consider seeing it): Adrien Brody is unbelievable, and is surrounded by the kinds of the equally amazing Marcia Gay Harden, Christina Hendricks, Lucy Liu, James Caan Blythe Danner, Sami Gayle, Christina Hendricks - each one a different aspect of life and living, in heartfelt performances that last a lot longer than the film's 5,880 heartbreaking seconds. 

Detachment. Directed by Tony Kaye. With: Adrien Brody, Sami Gayle,
Betty Kaye. Writer: Carl Lund. US, 2011, 98 min., Dolby Digital, Color (DVD).

PS: At the beginning of this movie, I thought about my own experience with teaching, which is almost none, but that has changed my life. At my undergraduate studies, I avoided the elective educational classes as the devil runs from the cross. Why specifically I really don't know. It was this way until I first entered a class as a teacher. And so it became a dream for life, one that can be a nightmare, a desperate attempt to make sense from what lacks none, but, most important, a fulfilling way to view life and discover what in fact matters..

PPS: Neil Gaiman always getting right to the point:

PPPS: For a scary moment, I thought this day's movie would be 22 Jump Street, my younger niece's favorite movie of the month. We even watched 30 minutes of it, until she had enough and went for other adventures, as racking my phone, for example. 


  1. I think of you as great great teacher. Including outside classroom.

    1. Rodrigo, try to see this movie, really. I think you gonna love it, despite all the suffering guaranteed (it is too accurate). You are a great teacher, I'm just trying to realise how to be one :)