Sunday, April 28, 2024

HELEN AND THE BEAR (2024) Hot Docs 2024

Helen Hooper met US Congressman Pete McCloskey in the 1970’s. He was 26 years older than her. They orbited each other and the fell together. They bonded over their unconventionality and their love of the wilderness. She had a several year relationship with another woman but always remained steadfastly in love with Bear. As he heads towards the end of his life Helen takes stock and looks back at her own life.

This is one of the great romances I’ve run across. It’s the story of two people madly in love with each other after roughly fifty years together. There is oneness in their togetherness that only comes from deep affection and happiness in the company of another person. You can see it in every look, motion, touch and word. It’s the sort of a relationship that we all want to aspire to but few of us ever achieve.

I love this film. I love that I went in and was certain it was going to be just a typical bio, and was beyond delighted when the mix of interviews and journal entries turned it into something truly special. This film is glorious. It is one of the great romantic films of the last couple of decades. Documentary or narrative it doesn’t matter, as depiction of love this film is among the best. It is what it should be a deep entwinement of two souls despite everything, one where smooching isn’t required, but just being with a person, where a word or a touch moves our heart.

By the time the film ended I was misty.

God, it’s wonderful

Highly recommended.

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