By now, it’s probably considered quite corny to say that there is no more powerful feeling than the love a parent has for their child. But there is truth in that corniness, and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a better representation of that concept. Parenting is incredibly hard and immensely rewarding. It requires endless amounts of love, strength, patience, sacrifice and a thousand other things as hard to list as they are to navigate. You try and you try and you try, with the best of intentions and no knowledge of whether or not you’re getting it right. Maybe looking at this film through that lens is what made it so very difficult for me to watch, as I’ve wanted to for some time now. Or maybe I’m just a softie. No matter your experience with children (yours, others, or none whatsoever), this is sure to be seen as an absolutely brilliant work, just as heart-wrenching as it is hopeful. It’s a triumphant piece of art, from the writing to the direction to the brilliant acting and amazing sound design. But as good as it is, I don’t think I can ever sit through it again. Everyone involved managed to craft something that truly captures the raw depth of a parent’s love for their child, expressed through the view of the child who, along with his mother, survived years of unimaginably bleak circumstances. Despite his surroundings, Jack manages to still find wonder in everything within his tiny little world, and opens himself up to a much, much larger one upon finally escaping. It’s a magical film that has left me more than a little choked up but in total admiration.