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Death and Transfiguration (1983)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

It is Christmas Eve and Robert, now an old man, lies dying in a hospital bed, reliving moments from his past.

He recalls his mother's funeral, and sees himself as a child being chided by a nun for running in the school corridor. As an adult, he looks after his sick mother and fantasises about muscle men. He remembers his part as an angel in a childhood nativity play, and also recalls his mother's death in another hospital bed.

He imagines himself at a Christmas party at his boyhood home: everyone is singing, and his mother embraces him. At another childhood Christmas, carols are being sung and Robert dozes in front of a glowing fire. A nun asks him if he loves God.

In the hospital, it is now late on Christmas Eve, and the night nurse has come on duty. Seeing that Robert is dying, she sits by his bed. At the point of death, he sees himself as a boy with his mother, and struggles to sit up and open his arms to her. As he dies, the screen is bathed in white light.