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Marissa, hi, I'm Nomi. We were tweeting back and forth about Rectify. I went to your profile and ended up here.

I am so glad you wrote this piece. I don't see things quite as you do, that you're being "selfish" for feeling the way you do. No, for me, what you write is an honest description of the lasting effects of such a profound loss, something I think many many feel and don't talk about in this way because it can sound bitter or selfish, something they "should" have "let go of" years ago, etc. But, to me, those feelings are not a reflection of a selfish nature. I don't know you, but I'd bet you're not a selfish person.

Don't misunderstand me; of course, it'd feel better not to feel this way about October. Of course. And, it'd be great if the act of publicly speaking (writing) these feelings becomes a way that some of it can be shed. I only mean to say that you are speaking about what traumatic loss is really like for many, or even most people. That's something rarely spoken about or depicted on tv or film. It's also sort of frowned upon, with people scolding those who've had the loss, telling them to, whatever it is -- "get back out there," "let go of this and that," "your mother (wife, sister, daughter) wouldn't want you to ____." And they are usually saying these things at some ridiculously early point like six months or a year or even less....But what you are describing is not a life (your life) that's frozen. But rather a loss that you still live with and something that triggers anger about that loss. Many people have that, live with it, silently.

One of the reasons why I am so grateful for a show like Rectify is because the whole damn thing is about the unspeakable loss -- losses -- that Daniel has experienced and if and when he can ever recover. (It's about way more than that, of course, but you know what I mean.) Some viewers think he should be over it by now. Ha, "now," which in the timeline of the story is like, what, two months after he's provisionally let out of prison? Yeah, well, the truth is that many many people who are released from prison after much shorter periods than 20 years, never -- never -- adjust, never experience freedom. For the wrongfully imprisoned it's the very worst...some do not survive "freedom."

I do NOT mean to be comparing your experience with Daniel's! I'm only mentioning Rectify because it explores another kind of loss in a way that we essentially never see.



Marissa Flaxbart

Nomi, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts here. I totally agree with you about Rectify. Compared to what we are normally shown on television, it's way more realistic to show a character be crippled by such a devastating life event. And it's not just Daniel who may never "get over" it - every member of his family has been scarred in his or her own way (Amantha and Janet come readily to mind!). I imagine that part of why my dad likes the show so much is that it captures this hard-to-articulate pain so artfully! I'll definitely share your comment with him, btw. :D


Right, I was going to mention the devastation for the whole family, but my comment was getting too long! Definitely, the family...it's unimaginable, really. And, assuming the wrong is set right, so to speak, that can never make up for the damage. And then there's the entire town...

My feeling is that McKinnon will have some good come out of this, things that might not have come another way. But still...

And, yes, not to pretend I can ever know what it'd be like to be in Daniel's or his family's situation, I have never seen the kind of pain and utter displacement, disorientation -- unfreedom -- that he experiences depicted in a way that is so visceral, and so extraordinarily particular. Also shows that you can make a film about something like this without it being boring. Doesn't hurt that Aden Young (and everyone, really) is absolutely riveting. But it also speaks to a very different approach toward storytelling. It's not for everyone, but it seems that people who respond to it (your father?) are really deeply affected. I sure have been.

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