In times of extreme aggression by the economic and political system, human relations boil down to their core. Which is nothing more than the sentiments and feelings who tie together the lives of the people who are closest to each and every one.
The film’s heroine embodies the modern young adult who is faced with the brutal realization of having to choose between living and existing. But life is given purpose by its content, that is the amount of happiness or positiveness which inhabits it. Therefore, the struggle to preserve one’s dignity becomes an everyday goal.
For many like the story’s main character, the only true source of beauty in their lives is the specific Other, which is the crystallization of all that is love. Inevitably, to maintain it, the mixture of harsh conditions and economic despair indicate the necessity of sacrifices to be made. She then chooses a symbol of their relationship to perish, so as to offer a token of her love for him.
A crushing entrapment can offer a liberating escape. That seems to be the message in Ismene Daskarolis’ film. As long as there are eyes to reflect upon, nothing is futile and neither will be. It is not a naive resolution, but a reminder that resistance to reality will soldier on.
Yiannis Kantea Papadopoulos from http://www.altcineaction.com/films/the-gift-of-the-magi/