In Film, it is often said that it is better to “show and not tell,” especially in terms of emotion. Nursed Back, by writer and director Dani Pearce, is the perfect example of this by evoking strong emotions without anyone uttering a word.
A nurse, played by Nancy Denis, goes about her rounds, seemingly as usual, until she stops at an empty room. The scene starts out familiar: a dark blue and purple-toned hospital room, an empty bed, and a tearful nurse. Then Pearce flips this typical scenario on its head. What starts off as simple tears are quickly transformed into a deeply emotional contemporary dance piece. Powerful choreography expresses the raw mix of emotions that make up the grieving process, taking the viewer through the anger, confusion and anguish of loss.
Nursed Back‘s strong and beautiful choreography is matched by Christopher Miles’s equally striking cinematography. Rather than sticking with one style, the evolution of the shot matches and enhances the evolution of the nurse’s emotions. Lingering close up shots invite the viewer to feel the stiffness of the empty blue sheets and the tender purple flowers on the bedside table along with the nurse. As she both literally and figuratively moves through the different stages of grief, so does the camera, with the Steadicam mirroring the fluidity of her movements, creating an all-encompassing and, at times, suffocating experience.
Nursed Back is a hauntingly beautiful piece that is sure to impact any and every viewer.
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