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La Vie en Rose, Directed by Olivier Dahan

La Môme, TF1 International, February 8, 2007 (France)

Screenplay: Olivier Dahan and Isabelle Sobelman

Starring: Marion Cotillard and Sylvie Testud

Die right now. You will see.

Journalist (Paulina Bakarova): If you were to give advice to a woman, what would it be?

Edith Piaf (Marion Cotillard): Love.

Journalist: To a young girl?

Edith: Love.

Journalist: To a child?

Edith: Love.

A flash before the final curtain. What is revealed? Die right now. Imagine the moment. Listen to your heart fade against the closing silence. What is it, who is it, that you see? Where are you? Thoughts of love? Pain? A triumph, a tragedy? Are the illuminations laid out neatly in chronological order, from A to Z?

Your tiny eyes strain to open as they are first exposed to the piercing brightness. The hands of giants delicately pass you back and forth, holding you as you squirm. There you are, with your fingers and face (even your hair) suddenly coated completely in creamy sugary sweetness, just after the voices sang out in your direction and the flame burned atop a white frosted mountain of euphoria. You grew so fast! Learned to ride a bike. Learned to fall. It was the same bike that was wrapped in a big red bow next to the Christmas tree that still lights up your memories. There was preschool and middle school and high school too, and somewhere in between, that inevitable first kiss or the time you turned into a zombie and held your mother’s hand inside a place called a funeral parlor, and you didn’t understand any of it. Why was the room so stale? Why weren’t you sobbing like all the rest of them? Why you were so afraid?

Where are you now?

The linear two-dimension graphic fails. Life cannot be adequately captured on a neat timeline—inked bullet points aligned in a rational sequence. The human condition is more abstract, fragmented, like a mosaic. Its true essence is in pieces strewn together that alone could never resemble the whole. Sparkling hot shards meld together in a prism that streams out arrays every which way, a brilliant rush configured by nature, not time.

The intersecting moments of light race down the rapids, splashing and crashing into one another, dipping under and out of focus, moving toward the end at breakneck speeds, a waterfall hurling over the life-meets-death edge with a shocking display of power, unspeakable beauty.

Here, in the plunging finish, there is no separation of A, B, or Z. And in this magical explosion of all that is gloriously revealed, you will catch a quick glimpse from a distance of your entire assembled mosaic—the wonders of it all, a burst of images, your essence—and see how it will be locked into eternity.

Die right now and you will see.