Possession

Possession ★★★★★

A surreal and deeply symbolic horror that keeps me puzzling over it after multiple viewings. It starts off with a fairly normal albeit messy breakup, with strikingly earnest and relatable dialogue. The backdrop of a divided Berlin mirrors the fracturing relationship on screen; multiple shots frame Anna and Mark on either side of a wedge, hinting at the breakdown of understanding and empathy between them, and the ever present Berlin Wall underscores this idea. The Cold War doomsday theme also highlights the existential agony palpable throughout the film. In the subway, Anna births a monster that she describes as a miscarriage of her faith. She later asks “do you believe in God?”, recalling Mark’s earlier comment that “God is a disease.” When it is fully formed, the monster is a doppelgänger of Mark but with ominous black eyes that his own son intuitively fears. I’m still not sure what to make of all of it, but I love it anyway.

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