It is hard to think of one particular film that made an impact on my life. In fact, when Tasha graciously tagged me, I confess to not being able to pin down any films at the time.So I let this percolate in my head for a while, until the film came to me.
It's a bit silly, really, when I think about it now, but when I put myself back into my five-year-old self, watching that film for the first time, my heart begins to beat a bit faster, and I can still feel some of that old terror start to take hold of me.
What film was it, you ask? Well, it's not what you might expect: Bambi.
This was the film that taught me that mothers weren't invincible goddesses, like my idol, Wonder Woman, whom I used to believe my mother resembled. This was the movie that showed me that the world was not a perfect place -- that babies could be left orphaned, alone in the world, without a home to come back to.
I think you know the scene I'm referring to here, but just in case -- there is a scene in the film where Bambi's mother is shot and killed by a hunter. I remember that I began crying hysterically immediately upon watching this scene. My mother had to cart me out of the theater (no doubt to the utter relief of the other patrons).
The tears soon passed, as tears will. The ice cream that my mother bought me in a diner near the theater certainly helped fortify me. However, the scene remained embedded in my psyche for many weeks, and I began having recurring nightmares in which I dreamed that my mother had died.
To this day, I refuse to see the film again. I know this is irrational -- it's just a cartoon -- but I can't help but worry that the old dread will resurface. Just the memory of it alone is enough to make me catch my breath now.