#28 Died Pretty: A State of Graceful Mourning: 1994
Blackrock is a 1997 Australian Film adapted from Nick Enright’s 1992 play A Property of the Clan, which in turn was inspired by the 1989 murder of Leigh Leigh in Stockton, near Newcastle in New South Wales.
It is a black, dark, film; difficult to view and illuminates many of the behaviours and attitudes that cause so much destruction in society and in the personal lives of real people. A young girl is raped and murdered. The fallout rips the community apart. This is especially so for Jarred, a17 year old boy who that night is sitting alone on Blackrock; he hears the girl’s calls for help during and after the assault but does not go to help. He walks away. Curator’s notes Blackrock (1996) on ASO – Australia’s audio and visual heritage online It is a difficult burden to carry and it changes him dramatically. As his mother puts it, I lost you on that night.
The film concludes with Jarred telling his mother what he saw and heard and the fact that he didn’t go and help the girl. He knows he could have saved her life had he done so. And this is where we get to the song for today. Died Pretty’s 1994 song A State of Graceful Mourning is played at the close of the film as Jarred goes to help his mother and a young friend scrub insulting graffiti from Tracey’s vandalised grave. It’s tear jerking stuff!
We might not all have such traumatic experiences; this film is RAW but I do believe it is a rare person who does not have something to mourn over. Broken hearts, broken promises, broken dreams, broken minds and bodies, lost loved ones, lost opportunities, lost fortunes, lost futures and the list goes on. Jarred’s mourning is because he could have done something to help someone and he turned his back! The consequences were devastating.
How often have any of us done that? Not helped when we could have. We all have things to mourn over; things that cause us remorse. But somewhere we have to seek the grace to forgive, forgive ourselves and others. So we come to a graceful state of mourning; it is our state of living, still mourning but doing it gracefully. And if we don’t, or can’t, we will totally undo ourselves, just as Jarred was falling apart until he was able to confess and begin to find redemption.
This is the message of the Bible. Grace and redemption. Someone please tell me that it has nothing to offer us. Please view the film clip. I love this song; linger a little on its lyrics.