Surviving a Suicide Attempt

The film ‘The Past'(2013) explores the emotional fallout or ramifications of a failed suicide attempt where the suicide attempter is left in a coma. Her life is left hanging in the balance, and as she sleeps, the lives of those close to her begin to unravel.

All the characters impacted by the unforeseeable outcome of this suicide attempt, seem stuck in an unfathomable and unsolvable present. Most suicide attempters do not plan to fail in their attempts, nor do they foresee what could likely result from a failed suicide attempt. Not only might they be left in a vegetative state, but surviving family members may then have to make agonising decisions about their hospital care, and ultimately whether or not to take them off life support.

The coma patient is unaware of the mess she has caused. Her husband, Samir, who has been having an affair, is now overwhelmed with guilt, especially when he soon discovers that it is the discovery of his affair which triggered his wife’s suicide attempt. 

Her little boy is desperate to go home, but there is no one to go home to. He is taken to the home of his father’s married mistress, Marie, and his sole playmate has become her little daughter.

Marie has been estranged from her husband, Ahmad,  for four years, and is desperate for a divorce. The film begins with her picking him up from the airport, ostensibly for the purpose of attending the divorce hearing and signing the papers. But she also wants him to speak to the older daughter who has been coming home later and later.


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