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Jackie Brown (1997) Director: Quentin Tarantino

She’s tired, weary, seen it all and then some. And now finally, she’s gotten her way, found something deep inside, faced up and found a way out of a life going nowhere. She’s regained control and is making a new life for herself far away. This is her triumph, a personal victory against a society that has beaten her down for too long, underestimated her resourcefulness, strength and cunning.

And yet as she sits in her car, setting off for a new life there is no sense of satisfaction on her face. Bobby Womacks’s anthem of urban survival ‘Across 110th Street’ blares from the radio and Pam Grier’s face registers sadness, pain; stoicism incarnate. She knows too much, has experienced too many heartbreaks, disappointments to fully savour her victory and she’s not going to get carried away.

Tarantino fixes the camera on the dashboard and let’s the actress reveal something of herself and her character. It’s simplicity itself yet is naked,raw, powerful. She knows the words, recognizes the tune. It’s her life, her struggle within that song and though she’s ready to leave all of that behind, who knows what the future has in store for her? For any of us?

This is life; trying to get by day to day, seeking out small victories. Exhausted, emotional she may be but ready to give up? No way. She’s a survivor.

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