Heal the Living ★★★★

The opening litany of 21 (!) production companies, film funds and tax shelters suggests how tricky it must've been to get this financed. "You have only a sliver of plot," the money people must've pointed out; "Your narrative wanders. There's no character arc. Not to mention that the story is depressing, a young person is killed, and your climax involves heart surgery shown in graphic detail." "It'll be okay!" Quillevere must've pleaded. "I'm going to get a gentle piano score - its pattering rhythms like the beating of a heart itself - to tie it all together, and I'm going to make sure the camera moves are fluid and the images often breathtaking. Above all, I'm going to show, using just a few brushstrokes, how these many characters - 'so many people,' as Bowie sings over the closing credits - each have something unique, some hidden story, some trait to them, even if my indicators get a bit contrived (songbirds? hip hop?). I'm going to show how the richness and diversity of people is, in the end, our only real philosophical bulwark against the crushing emptiness of Death. It'll be touching, you'll see." Just as well she convinced them.