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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Little Sparrows

Film addresses wisdom at end-of-life

In this Australian film directed by Yu-Hsiu Camille Chen, Susan is dying of cancer.

As her family gathers for Christmas, she realizes that each of her three adult daughters is facing a crisis: Anna, an actress, is unhappy in her marriage to a self-absorbed filmmaker; Christine is struggling to come out of the closet and declare herself a lesbian; and Nina, a single parent, yearns to break free of her co-dependency that means she is always helping others and neglecting herself.

By Frederic and Mary Ann BrussatThere are many films about caring individuals who help others achieve a finely finished death.

But here the giving is reversed — Susan on her deathbed meets with each daughter and, in the most loving way, advises them based on her experiences as a woman, wife and mother.

These scenes reveal the soul of a wise person who is able to set aside her pain and speak from the heart.

Susan's sessions with her daughters function as her ethical will in which she passes on her spiritual values (Film Movement, not rated).


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