“Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.” Losing a loved one is difficult, and everyone processes grief in their own way. To Dust is about the obsessive way the orthodox canter, Shmuel grieves his wife.
The film is beautifully written. To Dust is steeped in religion, but dripping with science. Writer-director, Shawn Snyder, stated he wrote the film to cope with losing his mother. The emotions are as real as the curiosity that surrounds Shmuel’s grief-fueled scientific quest.
Géza Röhrig is absolutely wonderful at Shmuel. His love for his wife and the grief he experiences emanates from the screen. Shmuel’s earnestly wants to know that will happen to his wife’s body, because as long as her body is still a body, and not yet returned to dust, her soul is tormented, stuck. He wants to know that she is completely at peace.
On his quest to uncover how the human body decays, he meets and befriends a reluctant biology professor, Albert (Matthew Broderick), who assists on this scientific journey. They look at the grotesque images of decaying bodies to better understand the process and achieves find closure.
I give this film 3 of 5 stars. It was weird and intriguing, scientific yet religious, with just a little humor.