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Kramer Vs. Kramer (#110 of 2)

New York Film Festival 2010: Tuesday, After Christmas

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New York Film Festival 2010: <em>Tuesday, After Christmas</em>
New York Film Festival 2010: <em>Tuesday, After Christmas</em>

I was around six when my parents began divorcing, a two-year bickering lurch of which I most remember hiding under a bed. I was old enough to understand what was happening, but too young to get that it wasn’t my fault. Worst of all, I had no images with which to identify. I struggled to find a model for how divorced couples and their kids behaved, but came up empty. It seemed a subject that people not only didn’t discuss, but avoided.

The gift my parents’ breakup gave me was that it made me a moviegoer. The VCR became a way to deal with my troubles. I gravitated in particular toward stories about couples, with love lost and found: the church reunion in Sunrise, the spaghetti dinner and card game at the heart of The Apartment. Nights of Cabiria showed a woman who kept getting hurt in relationships, and I watched it over and over to try to understand how my parents had hurt each other.