United States, 11 min
What becomes of the personal effects we leave behind after our death? Grave Goods, the director’s homage to her grandmother and a sensitive reflection on mourning and remembrance, opens with this question. Through a rigorous ‘mise en scène’, the filmmaker shows objects and images belonging to the departed, while giving free rein to her own recollections. An intimate cinematographic museum of the fleeting nature of existence.
“Inanimate objects, have you a soul?” asked the poet… Grave Goods, the director’s homage to her late grandmother and a sensitive reflection on mourning and remembrance, opens with the question: “What becomes of all the personal effects we leave behind after our death?” Conforming to a fine-tuned ‘mise en scène’, Grave Goods meticulously opens boxes, suitcases, audio and video cassettes, giving free rein to the recollections of the young girl who went on to become a filmmaker. Objects owned by the departed, here literally exhibited before the viewer’s gaze, form a peculiar cabinet of wonders, an intimate museum in which the hands and voice of the narrator serve as our guide. Photos and videos of the loved one create a dialogue with this emotionally charged bric-à-brac, making us aware of the fleeting nature of all existence, where not even relics, let alone images, can restore a life lost. As the final traces of an existence that is no more, orphans of their own substance and the soul that personified them, they are nothing more than illusions. Like memories. Alessia Bottani