The Seventh Continent: Taking Care and Making Family
This chapter presents the first of three film analyses, and focuses on The Seventh Continent. After setting out the events of the film, we turn to existing film theory literature to show how the film has been understood previously, which tends particularly toward reading it in psychological terms in light of its tragic ending. In contrast, we offer a reading that is led by the film’s own devices—the repetition of the same activities, prolonged close-ups, and the use of diegetic sounds. These, we suggest, invite a different stance towards it than the critical approach, which seeks explanation and deeper meaning. By focusing only on what is seen and heard through the film’s devices we argue that the film brings into view that raising children is always about inheritance and thus involves forms of taking care of things in the world and of one another, showing and maintaining these forms of care, and passing on these and the objects concerned in it. Furthermore, it shows that the maintenance of community entails the willingness to do these things, time and again.
KeywordsThe Seventh Continent Devices Uncanny Candidness Force Close-up Diegetic sound Connection Community Responsibility
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