The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open

Many community problems would disappear if people chose to talk to one another instead of one another. It is true that people come from different backgrounds and may hold different perceptions of their neighbors, although they share similar ethnicities. They would rather hide their troubles and let them consume them while they are aware that someone closer can lend a helping hand. But this might not be the case for some people since their neighbors are too busy to care for or help them whenever they are in trouble. It may be a cause of unfaltering social change that would somehow lead to a cultural shift that would lose an element of society, but it is worthwhile because there will be a clear gain, especially in helping someone from trouble. The perception of humanity involves everyone in society to push them to stand up for their neighbor, be instruments of change, and maintain that humanity is not dead yet.

Guided by identifying an individual in need whenever people are out and about goes a long way to illustrate how people care about their neighbors, be it an individual they know or a total stranger. Caring has always had a fulfilling outcome in general individual encounters where a total stranger lends a hand. It is not a new encounter, nevertheless, since most people grew up with stories of care. Take the biblical case of the good Samaritan, for example, where a stranger identifies a person in need and decides to ensure that he is out of danger. A similar observation is illustrated in the first meeting of Áila and Rosie, a scene in the streets leading to Áila’s home (Tailfeathers and Hepburn). Unknown to one another, both characters engage in a heartwarming encounter, with Rosie trusting Áila for the first time and Áila choosing to help a stranger. Although Rosie’s stature (bruises on the face, unkempt hair, and bare feet) tells the story, it is Áila’s trait that communicates humanity. Before the encounter, other people come across Rosie and choose to ignore her.

In addition, people who need help may have a sixth sense to identify someone who also needs help. The film illustrates a surprising flipping of the script when Rosie tells the taxi driver an elaborate tale by informing him that she is taking Áila to rehab (Tailfeathers and Hepburn). At this moment, it is clear that she does not care what others might think of her because, in a real sense, she looks like the one who needs help more than Áila. Anyone looking at her would likely guess that she has had a tough day, but she is unaware of it as she chooses to help her helper. This observation depicts not what a good Samaritan wants others to see but what the impact they want to leave, depicting the benefits of helping one another.

Choosing to care for strangers is a personal conviction since they believe it to be the right thing to do. For instance, Áila wants to make sure that Rosie is safe when she stops at her home (Tailfeathers and Hepburn). Judging by what she knows about Rosie’s act in her house, she still illustrates her caring side. Sometimes care is the only solution to an issue, and it is the only option one can give to a stranger. Some people are outwardly nice, much to the surprise of a victim, but the outcome would bear its fruits since they are just like that, and for them, ensuring another person’s safety is enough to keep them in good spirits.

An important benefit of showing humanity is the feeling of fulfillment it may have on an individual. Both individuals will benefit from such a gesture as one gets reprieve from trouble, and the other does good by passing on a good deed. If a viewer is concerned about how the events unfold in the film or what happens in the end, these benefits summarize the entire plot. For example, viewers can see that Áila and Rosie are not very different. They are both indigenous women striving for survival in a progressive city. In most cases, these groups of people are minorities, but the film narrates a different view of both. For starters, Áila is different from Rosie because she is well presented and seems to be living a perfect life judging from her appearance. This observation diverts the viewer from the traditional perception of minorities, allowing them to judge who a minority is, not from their actual ethnicity but their qualities. However, not everyone will embrace the idea of showing concern to a stranger.

Some individuals may even be cautious of their friends and fail to help them because of their insecurities. Some individuals may point out that strangers turn to their true versions and commit worse acts to them, while some argue that they fear falling victim to what they hear from their family and friends (Guan et al., 1038). The authors identify several instances of security that people raise when asked whether they would help a stranger. Interestingly, a significant percentage mention that they would help a stranger if they were in trouble, while a closer figure retorts that they would not help a stranger due to fear (1041). Even for kind-hearted individuals, these reasons are valid enough because helping an individual is out of one’s will. However, while one chooses not to help out, one fails to realize how their decision will impact an individual. Many people have gone through worse moments after failing to receive help, with the could-be helpers having to live with the consequences (Sznycer et al. 39). Still, some people would choose not to help, not because they cannot, but because they choose to.

Perhaps individual security is an issue, or perhaps people just chose to show a blind eye. However, all these reveal that humanity is dead because people want it to be and still be relevant. Turning the matter into a question of insecurity only provides an excuse for one not to be an instrument of change. Yes, an individual may turn out to be a phony, but they may not know until they reach out. But in the end, an individual would have done a good deed out of their volition. A similar case is evident when Rosie steals from Áila, who has been generous enough to lend her warm clothes and is even prepares her a cup of tea (Tailfeathers and Hepburn). One may wonder why she chooses to do so following her apparent rescue and hospitality from a stranger but will come out short of answers and wait for the whole film to uncover. To some individuals, this is evident enough proof to label another person as a misfit and stop helping them completely.

Although not directly depicted in most encounters, some situations may force an individual in trouble to resort to a poor decision, not because they like doing it, but because they do not have another choice. Such is Rosie’s case, which Áila knows but would not confront her since she witnessed her handing money to a shady character. As the story progresses after the care home scene, Áila still shows her humanitarian side. She has all the right to question her for her wrong behavior and reprimand her actions, but she chooses to understand Rosie. Sometimes, all it takes for an individual to feel content with their actions and life choices is by showing that they understand. This observation may send a touching message to individuals who would contemplate their actions and wonder why someone is so nice to them. This is because the perception of humanity is long gone for them, and to realize that some people are still kind may impact their future life encounters. Perhaps Rosie undergoes a similar reflection and makes the best life choices to take care of herself and her unborn child.

Society continues to go through a rapid transition that leaves people afraid to seek help because the notion of humanity does not exist anymore. This same notion exists among those who lend a blind eye to people who need help due to some underlying preconceptions. Decisions about helping or not helping are substantiated, and nobody is directly tasked with helping total strangers. Victims may choose to let their misery be their fate due to fear of talking, which is different from what would-be helpers would have. The fear of being talked upon may also prevent a victim from speaking to their neighbor. While skeptics might worry about what would happen to them if they lend a hand, they overlook the plight of an actual victim. Interestingly, there are some good souls left in the world, and all it takes is a matter of chance for them to show up and offer a reprieve for a victim and restore their hope in humanity. At some point, the victim may be the one helping their original helper in an unseen turnaround of events.

Works Cited

Guan, Fang, Jun Chen, Outong Chen, Lihong Liu, and Yuzhu Zha. “Awe and Prosocial Tendency.” Current Psychology 38.4 (2019): 1033-1041. Web.

Seo, Sunmi, Tricia Witte, Deborah M. Casper, and Shelton Owen. “Helping Friends and Strangers in Risky Situations: Outcomes of Bystander Interventions for Sexual Assault and Dating Violence.” Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma (2021): 1-22. Web.

Sznycer, Daniel, Andrew Delton, Theresa Robertson, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby. “The Ecological Rationality of Helping Others: Potential Helpers Integrate Cues of Recipients’ Need and Willingness to Sacrifice.” Evolution and Human Behavior 40.1 (2019): 34-45. Web.

Tailfeathers, Elle-Maija and Kathleen Hepburn, directors. The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open. Experimental Forest Films, 2019.

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PsychologyWriting. 2023. "The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open." September 18, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open." September 18, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open." September 18, 2023.