11/28/2016 7:52:34 AM
Subject: Film Review- Somewhere Only We Know
Somewhere Only We Know
Somewhere Only We Know is a Chinese love story. A young woman is heartbroken over the death of her grandmother and being left at the altar by her fiance. She decides to move to Prague and retrace the steps of her grandmother, and is hopeful that she can find the man that her grandmother died still loving. The movie parallels her love story, while going back in time to tell her grandmother’s.
When her grandmother was a young woman, she traveled to Prague and fell in love with a doctor in the clinic where she worked. He was a married man but his wife had been taken to a concentration camp and was presumed dead. He gave her grandmother a beautiful shawl and made plans with her to travel back to China to be with her family. As things were going well, he receives word that his wife is not dead and after years of regaining her memory, she has contacted him to reunite. Of course he is obligated to go back with his wife and take care of her in her compromised mental state and frailty. This is the end of the love of affair but not the feelings that they have for each other. There are promises of reuniting and being together at a later date in time. Her Grandmother keeps a sketchbook of drawings, including some of him and special places. One of the places is a statue where they plan to meet when life makes a way for them to be together. Unfortunately, her Grandmother passes away before they are able to reunite and rekindle their love.
As the Granddaughter arrives in Prague, she has hopes of retracing her grandmother’s steps and finding out what happened between her grandmother and her soulmate. She is caught off guard when she meets a young musician. He is kind and respectful to her after she makes a fool of herself and they start a sort of friendship. The musician lives with his mother, who is bipolar, and young daughter. He has a lot to deal with and the relationship that is started does not flow as easily as he would like. After they have words and experience some hard times, they end their romance and she prepares to go back to China. Before she leaves, she goes to the statue, wearing her Grandmother’s shawl, and sees her grandmother’s lover. He is an old man of 90, and comes to the statue every day in hopes of seeing his soulmate. She gives him the news of her grandmother’s death and the sketchbook that belonged to her grandmother. She is comforted and enlightened by their meetings and a week later, he passes away. She contacts her ex-boyfriend and lets him know that she is sorry and that she feels good that she has some questions answered. He begs her to stay and is ends with an American 1980’s love song.
I have not had great luck in picking movies to use as a teaching tool. This movie was entertaining, but not something I would show to my students in it’s entirety. I could use the clips of when there is talk of the concentration camps and have my Special Education,high school English students compare and contrast with The Book Thief. How do these events change people lives on a personal level? There were also some different scenes that I could show and have students write a response. For example, when one of the characters is going through a difficult time, write about a time when you felt hopeless, excited, frustrated, angry, etc. I could also use different clips for my Social Learning class and have them figure out what the characters are trying to convey with their facial expressions or body language. Overall, this movie was entertaining, but did not provide the teaching opportunities that I had hoped.