Thoughts On: The Innocents (EOTWS)

The Innocents (EOTWS)

End Of The Week Shorts #34 extract: The Innocents (1961)

The Innocents is an overwhelming masterpiece of anxiety and dread. Though this presets itself as a ghostly horror, this is a psychological thriller about a governess (played perfectly by Deborah Kerr) who has to step into a broken household and assert herself as a teacher and mother figure that must overcome the remnants of tragedy and corruption that lie within the children she must care for. In confronting these 'ghosts', the governess comes to question her ability to give herself to, and completely accept, the children so she can nurture them into adults. Thus, she fears the death of herself and the children as innocents, but also knows that they cannot remain naive, and so open to the corruption of lies, fear and a broken past, leaving an implication of an inevitable death - whether it be the symbolic end of innocence or literal end of growth. 
Ultimately, the innocents is a film about change and inertia; about a young woman attempting to induce a positive change in a miserable situation.

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