“The first time I saw her, I loved her,” said an elderly man with a radiant smile, sitting next to his wife as she blushed. This is one of the many heart moments in Netflixthe last series of documents My love: six stories of true love.
As the title suggests, the show documents a year in the lives of six adult couples in six different countries to reach the heart of lasting love. Over six deeply rewarding episodes, each over an hour, he provides a snapshot of their life together and seeks to answer the question – what does love look like after a lifetime when you’re together? But as with the best love stories, it’s about much more than love. It is a portrait of aging, difficulties, relationships and friendships in different parts of the world.
The series is inspired by director Jin Moyung’s acclaimed Korean documentary from 2013. My love, do not cross this river who followed a couple in their final year of their 76-year marriage. The power of My love the series, by showrunner Xan Aranda, lies in how different each of these stories is, but also how strikingly similar. These are different lives, different marriages, different challenges, circumstances and cultures, and yet they all share the same essence – a mutual partnership between two people who really, really care about each other.
Each of the six pairs is carefully selected to meet certain criteria. They are all together for life (ranging from 40 to 60 years). They are all working class couples with often physically intensive work such as farming and fishing. They have all had a difficult life in one way or another, coping with medical difficulties or some kind of loss. And they all went through it together, side by side.
In the first episode, set in the small town of Williston, Vermont, USA, we meet David and Ginger as they approach their 60th wedding anniversary. They have both lived in the area all their lives. David has spent all 85 years on the farm, which has been in his family for generations. The second episode, set in Spain, follows shepherds Nati and Augusto, who have also been together for 60 years. After failing his driving test as a result of his declining vision, Augusto struggles to come to terms with the fact that he is a burden to his wife. There is something about watching real stories with real people and real words that goes beyond film love. This is a thought that struck me when Augusto remembers: “When you come in the morning and reach out and there is no one next to you … it is very difficult. You need your wife. When you are in bed and she is next to you, and you reach out and look at the thing you need most, and you say, “What a beauty. May God take care of her in the years to come. ”
My love it is not always an easy watch. The slow pace makes it challenging and sometimes tiring to cross. Like the nature of the love stories he presents, this is not too “exciting”, manipulative or sentimental storytelling. Most of the episodes do not have much direction. These are largely just footage of the couple telling their lives, coexisting through the ups and downs. This is an approach that requires us to perceive the daily life of these stories and to find the magic in the mundane.
The fifth episode is in Brazil and follows the same-sex couple Yurema and Nikinya, who have been together for forty years, living with their lively family of children and grandchildren. In addition to exploring their lives, theirs is a story that asks us if, after a while, love is just a habit of getting used to someone’s presence. “At one point, I thought about life without her. But so far we have had many reasons to live apart. But we can’t. She can’t live without me and I can’t live without her, “says Nikinya.
The sixth and final episode is based in India, in the province of Maharashtra. Directed by Катиябааз directors Deepti Kakkar and Fahad Mustafa, he followed farmers Satyabhama and Satva – together for 42 years. The couple, who had an arranged marriage, is deeply in love. Their story highlights the equal partnership they share in support of their family, despite the many difficulties of living as a farmer.
But my personal favorite is the third episode, shot in Japan. Partly because it has the most extraordinary story with all the ups and downs of any great drama. Kinuko and Haruhei have been married for 49 years. Haruhei had a difficult life. He was born with Hansen’s disease (leprosy) at a time when there was a severe social stigma against it, as it still exists. He was expelled from school and deprived of basic human rights. As a result, his father tried to kill him out of shame when he was a little boy. He escaped to be imprisoned in a government hospital for 15 years. And that’s where he met her. Kinuko worked there as a nurse and they fell in love. Or as he puts it: “The government forced me to enter an institution and would release me in 15 years. Until one day a goddess appeared and set me free … She is my savior. Because of her, I decided to go back to the world. ” Now Kinuko is facing health complications and Haruhei must be by her side during all this.
My love is in many ways a counterpoint to Amazon Prime Video’s wonderful fantasy anthology Modern love. Thus, these are also a series of mini films about connections. But while in this show the emphasis is on casual encounters, airport chases and big gestures, here it’s about the little things. These are the small glances and the silences. He goes to the beach, we walk together, we buy a massage chair together and we do laundry together. The presence of a man keeps him with you until the end of your world, come on what you can. If it’s not love, I don’t know what is.