Narcosis is the latest entry for International Feature for the Netherlands. Director Martijn de Jong’s feature film debut is a delicate, touching story about love, loss and acceptance. The film is focused on a family of four: a happily married couple, Merel and John, and their two kids, Ronja and Boris. They live in a beautiful house that they bought and renovated from top to bottom. It’s a dream home, with a beautiful backyard, high ceilings, windows in every room. Their life is picture perfect.
John is a deep sea diver and his latest work assignment is to go to Boesmansgat in South Africa. It’s one of the most challenging dives in the world. And one of the deepest as it’s practically the closest you can get to the centre of the earth. John tells Boris that down there it’s just pitch dark blackness. The next evening, he says goodbye to his family.
And then the film resumes one year later.
Martijn de Jong has created one of the most poignant and stirring films of the year. From the first shot of an upside down world. To the beautiful score being played just at the right moments. To all the attention to details. To fully developing and showcasing each and every character as complex individuals. To the perfect amount of flashbacks. To the brilliant Thekla Reuten and the rest of the cast. It’s impeccably done. In underwater diving, narcosis is a reversible change in consciousness that occurs while a person is diving at deep depths. Bereavement is an irreversible change that occurs while a person is suffering from intense loss. The reality is that you will grieve forever after losing a loved one. The pain will always be there. But you’ll learn to live with it. You will heal, in time, and re-build yourself around the loss that you have suffered. You will feel whole again but you’ll never be the same. The memories, the laughter, the great times will always be there. The sadness will come and go as the years go on. But just remember to breathe in and breathe out when it becomes unbearable. Life. Loss. Denial. Anger. Grief. Depression. Acceptance. Moving on. But never ever forgetting the life once lived with your one true love.