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Contemporary French cinema explores the possibilities for human relations after loss, melancholy and trauma

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  1. Melancholy's definition by Freud
  2. Loss, melancholy and trauma illustrated in François Ozon's movies
  3. Two typical reactions: hate and denial

The subject of loss has been widely exploited in the twentieth century cinema by film-makers and actors. It is a classic and a delicate topic. As dealing with the loss is very personal and hardly reproducible on a film stock, the undertaking is risky. It is difficult to find the right interpretation for a person submitted to a post-loss trauma and even more to depict it into his social environment without exaggerating or being mistaken. Human relations are indeed deeply moved by a loss, especially when the mourning is made difficult for any reason. French contemporary cinema is popular for portraying correctly the evolution of a person who is subject to a loss followed by a trauma and melancholy. Two movies, both directed by François Ozon can be particularly relevant in discussing this idea. The first one "Regarde la mer"(meaning: See the sea) came out in 1997 and depicts the encounter between Sasha, a British mother bored by her life of a housewife, and Tatiana, a rude and frightening backpacker. The viewer learns later that she has lost a baby in an abortion. The second one "Sous le sable" (meaning: Under the sand) came out in 2000 and is about Marie and Jean, a couple in their fifties and the way that Marie deals with the loss when his husband disappears in the sea. In both cases, the loss of a loved one is the triggering factor of the story. When this loss is sudden or traumatizing, the mourning cannot go right and the individual is plunged into melancholy.

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