I recently watched the film Another Earth. It is about a girl who is accepted to MIT and is interested in astronomy. After a night of partying, she is driving and hears an announcement on the radio that a planet, nearly identical to earth has been discovered. As she is gazing out the window, trying to locate this “spot” in the sky, she crashes into another vehicle, killing a child and an adult. She spends four years in prison, and the movie more or less begins with her release. The accident occurs in the first 10 minutes. While it looks at other things, two of the biggest themes it deals with is grief, and guilt.
I think the reason I found this movie so moving, and relatable, is because in many ways I think the feelings this girl in the movie feels, are many of the feelings I have been trying to cope with since receiving a second DUI in 2007. I ended up with a long stint in jail, and when I was released I struggled with these feelings of guilt and shame. I can’t imagine that I am the only one dealing with these feelings. I am not saying that what I did in anyway equates to what the girl in this movie did, or has to deal with, but the feelings are similar. Figuring out how to wash away the guilt, and feelings of shame is something I have struggled with. There is a scene towards the end, where she visits a janitor she has worked with who is in the hospital. He has lost his hearing and vision due to self-inflicted injuries. She writes into the palm of his hand, “forgive”, which after viewing just once I feel is the moral of the story and an important part of finding sobriety. You must find forgiveness, and learn to forgive yourself.