Recently I saw Jackie by director, Pablo Larraín. This film examined trauma and death in ways that I felt could help clients. The film Jackie tells the story of the assassination of President Kennedy from the perspective of his wife, first lady Jackie Kennedy. We all know about the national loss, but in this film we get a glimpse into her traumatic experience of the event and the hazy, disorientation that followed. I give much credit to actress Natalie Portman for portraying the quietly tense and internally surreal mental state that follows trauma.
Another clear theme in this film is death. Jackie struggles with her husband’s death as it also raises prior grief, regarding the loss of her unborn and infant children. Her sadness is clear as is her confusion in accepting what is to be her future. A family priest serves as grief counselor as she attempts to transcend the tragedy and move towards meaning. And because this event was felt worldwide, her meaning came to be part of our story as a nation.