Babel

Written By - Tessa Cash

There is this scene in the film “Babel” where the wife of one of the protagonists’ is wounded to the point of being unable to walk. The trip is a last resort attempt to save their crumbling marriage which has been traumatised by the loss of a child. She looks at her husband and says with crumbling embarrassment, “I peed my pants. I couldn’t hold it in and I peed.” He then touches the back of her pants and she says “I’m going to pee again.” He gets up and asks for a pan and some privacy. He gently places the terracotta pan near her nether regions, removes her knickers and gingerly lifts her battered body so she can relieve herself. Now before the golden shower jokes flood in, I’d like to gentle remind everyone of the vulnerability, fragility and compassion we must hold for those who have had difficult child births, for those who have suffered female genital mutilation, for those in war torn places as civilians or soldiers, for those who have endured disease and the damage that does to our humanity.

I’ll never forget this scene because it is possibly one of the most intimate, moving and tender exchanges I have witnessed in a film. One that has stayed with me. Grand and squishy love gestures are wonderful but it is the gentle and valiant love that follows us and whispers words of encouragement and empathy and support during our darkest moments; that is the true and most pure expression of love that exists. 

What an honour, to be there, in those moments, and to embody that fullness of love.