In the past few weeks I have watched a couple of cracking films, but as always the producers or directors fib about the ashes to increase cinematic impact, in a way I get it, the ashes are symbolic they dont need to be ‘real’ but it just perpetuates this myth that you get a few handfuls back.
Firstly, the Hunt for the Widlerpeople – An excellent film set in New Zealand starring Sam Neill about a couple that adopt a teenage boy and [slight plot spoiler] the mum suddenly dies. The film follows the relationship between an unlikely pairing. The lad unbeknownst to his adopted father had been carrying the ashes around on his back for a few weeks while living out in the bush. Then at a scenic spot the youth produces the urn and they symbolically scatter the ashes. That is if his deceased parent was the size of a cat. The urn they used was a pet urn, if they used a proper urn at a proper weight (around 3kg / 6lbs) I doubt the lad would have been quite so keen carry out this wonderful pilgrimage.
The second film another brilliant movie Captain Fantastic in which we find a father and his wife had opted to bring up the children in a very alternative way, educating them and teaching them about everything from great literature to survival skills. However, when they have to attend the mother’s funeral, which her parents want in a tradition way and the decreased wife / daughter didn’t, they come up against typical American society with all its failings. The wife wanted to be cremated and her ashes flush down the loo. The concluding section [another plot spoiler] is that they liberate the body and take it to a remote spot, where they have an open air pyre, they then they take the ashes to an airport toilet and the flush them down. At this point you would have heard me shouting at the telly. Firstly the ashes that they flushed were miraculously in a powder form. How is that when they used an open air pyre? Small parts would intermingle with the wood ashes, of which they would be a massive amount. The larger bones: skull, thigh etc would not be broken down, the ashes that you get back are reduced by a process of pulverisation. Lastly if you flushed ashes down the the loo in one go it would block the loo – simple as that.
So Ridley, Spielberg and all the other avid readers of this blog please take note! Right, rant over.