A fascinating analysis unpacking the meaning of the final scenes of Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman.
Transcript provided by Youtube:
Nina’s delusions culminate at the opening night of Swan Lake and in the
final contrast of the film, her artistic success is paired with her ultimate downfall.
[How about I dance the Black Swan for you?]
[Leave me alone!]
In a delusional state, she stabs her understudy, Lily, with a shard from the mirror in her dressing room.
[It’s my child.]
But in actuality, she has stabbed herself. This is one of the final
mirror shots that we see in the film — a literal manifestation of the idea that
Nina’s warped perception is killing her. When she takes the stage as the Black
Swan, all of the hints of feathers and red eyes and stretched necks that we’ve
seen thus far come together, and Nina’s metamorphosis is complete.
Although the visuals here are quite disturbing, it’s satisfying to see Nina
fully embrace her hallucinations, and achieve creative transcendence. She loses
herself on stage.
But in order to embody the Black Swan, she had to extinguish the white swan, the
person she was before.
[The only person standing in your way is you.
It’s time to let her go. Lose yourself.]
[Devastated, the White Swan leaps off a cliff, killing herself. And in death finds
As the blood from her self-inflicted wounds spills out, we
remain in Nina’s perspective. And the final act of the ballet and her life ends
in triumph, not tragedy.
[I was perfect.]
The camera fades to a blissful, blinding white, and Nina dies as the White Swan.
But to her it was worth it
This post was previously published on Youtube.
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Photo credit: Screenshot from video