I have many addictions but one of them that is actually useful is my addiction to watching foreign films. Alone on the couch at night, nibbling on high carb goodies and crying whilst heroes or heroines in different languages lose their true loves or find their long lost sister after she has been in jail… for reasons soon to be revealed.
This is form of therapy I refer to as “Netflix therapy.”
I first discovered this therapy watching Lassie Come Home as a child. When I walked up the stairs from our rec room with red puffy eyes, my mother was concerned. “What happened?” she asked.
“Lassie, Lassie- came home!”, I gasped in-between snorting and ungainly loud crying that would normally be associated with the death of a beloved pet or grandmother. After I pulled myself together, I felt lighter, happier even. Ever since then I have never looked back.
I recently enjoyed a romantic french movie about a mother who is being protected by her daughter-from the dad who is marrying his new young girlfriend because she is pregnant. She receives a love letter and changes the name and delivers it to her mother to give her a new zest for life. The important part of this sort of movie therapy is that I always cry at the end, which acts as a sort of anxienty scrubber. By the time I tumble into bed, my mind is truly washed clean.
I also discovered the film, The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles. A very interesting story of two very different sisters and and their relationships between the men and children in their lives. I discovered that this movie was originally a novel written by Katherine Pancol, who turns out to be a best selling novelist in France. Spoiler alert: commiting suicide by crocodile was a bit much- but other than that it was a pleasant way to erase my worries for a couple of hours. What is it about the French? Their films have a way of yanking out my emotions, better than meditation, better than chocolate even.
My friend Bruce has now got me hooked on the Danish Series Rita. Very gritty, funny and sweet. I pretend that I am actually studying a new language. I can now say “morgen” which means morning in Danish and “tanks”, means “thanks”. At night I dream that I am a cool school teacher who is tough and who looks hot in plaid, whom every man is in love with. The worst part is that there is only three seasons.
I can’t get enough of these Netflix foreign films. It is my guilty pleasure. And I can assure you that no one says the next time we are having family movie night, “ Hey! Did you watch that movie about a girl in Israel whose sister dies in childbirth, without me?”