Courageous Warriors, Beauty from the Ashes (2021)
Courageous Warriors, Beauty from the Ashes is an indie documentary about women with breast cancer. That seems as though it has to be an ordeal for the viewer.
Yes, it has anger, frustration, and fear of some of the victims. But it's also about the indomitable spirit of the survivors, as they cope and prevail. And it emphasizes the guidance and help they receive.
The film also focuses on the caretakers and the challenging, punishing struggles they have undergone.
As filmmaker Darla Rae says about her father, "My mother has been gone for 16 years. I finally had the nerve - since we were making this documentary - what it was like to be the caretaker. It was very hard to listen to what he (her father) had to say. It's one of the hardest jobs that there is."
The recognition of the duress caretakers have to endure is informative.
There is a whole support system that the film focuses on.
Nurse navigators help link women and men to the system that provides medication and advice.
One fascinating aspect of recovery is Personal Ink - in which women get beautiful tattoos on their scarred or damaged chests. One woman says, "Beautiful art on my chest. This is now. This is who I am."
Another woman founded an organization Hope Held By a Horse, after she personally realized that a horse and a human can connect in a positive, meaningful relationship.
What is best about Courageous Warriors, Beauty from the Ashes is the evocative impact of some of the scenes.
There are two things that sometimes blunt that. One is the mediocre music that accompanies the interviews. It has the feeling of elevator music.
The other is the interviews at the end which seem anti-climactic. The points have been made cinematically. They don't need to be explained.
But when the film is evocative it is powerful.
I have always believed that you are only as good as the people who help you.
Courageous Warriors, Beauty from the Ashes shows the power of support.
In a world of indecency, decency is a precious virtue.