Wherever You Go tells the story of Naomi (69) whose life is turned upside down by the untimely death of her son. We meet her as she arrives in the bleak foreign land where he lived with his Eastern European wife, Ruth (33). Naomi is an alien here, and grieving. But she is not the only one. In Ruth’s hysterical desperation, Naomi sees her own grief reflected - but she will stay strong, for herself and for Ruth. Only in private does Naomi let grief wash over her. Ruth is young enough to move on and Naomi urges her to leave. But Ruth will not; Naomi is the closest thing she has to family now. Eventually, Naomi can do nothing but accept, however uneasily. The film traces weeks that follow the funeral as the two women process their grief and for Naomi comes the slow realisation that perhaps they are stronger together than apart. The film captures with the idea that to “move on”, we must embrace the pain of loss without fear because that pain can be eased by friends and family and the enduring spirit of survival. We can be each other’s saviours.
The bible story of kinship between Ruth and Naomi appealed in the way it tackles the most fundamental and complex emotion of loss. It asks us to imagine what it might be like to lose a husband - or worse, a child - but reminds us that loss is not a closed door. With the pain of grief comes the reminder that we are still alive. Yes we may feel alone in the face of death but Ruth and Naomi’s story is not one of self-indulgence or despair. It is a profoundly positive depiction of the strength we find in ourselves and each other. Neither woman conforms to stereotypes of female behaviour, modern or antiquated. There is no judgement between them, only genuine human compassion and mutual respect. Film often creates unnecessary dramatic conflict between characters but the story of Ruth and Naomi offers an opportunity to show something different on screen; to capture what is good and kind and generous about the human spirit. Wherever You Go is a film that will bring to life the enduring nature of love, family and friendship and remind us that to feel is to be alive.