How to Make a Ghost

Director : Gabriela Escovar

The phrase, ‘what doesn't kill you makes you stronger’ came to mind as I watched Gabriela Escovar’s film How to Make a Ghost. It sat with me for hours afterwards, hanging around at the forefront of my brain as if demanding a thorough examination. It’s a platitude I am more than familiar with, having used it countless times to soothe and be soothed, to counsel and console. A sentiment I have doled out more times that I can remember, to more people than I’d care to admit, as a convenient cure-all for life's ailments. But one, in those hours of rumination, I became increasingly disillusioned by. It was Escovar’s short, lyrical and intensely personal script that promoted the interrogation. Told by a single narrator, it documents the people and events that shaped her and the memories we keep hidden, only to reach for when nobody else is looking. It’s a gently powerful two minutes of strangely beautiful animation paired perfectly with the story at its heart. A meditation on love, self-inflicted loss and grief. Even now, weeks later, the film comes back to me, leading me to conclude that what doesn’t kill us, simply makes us. Not stronger or weaker or better or worse, just us. And that life’s ailments may need comfort but not cure, because they make us what we are.  

Ami Guest