The Power of Reminiscence

The Power of Reminiscence

How director and star create emotional power with glimpses of memories in ‘Aftersun’

The director and star of the new film “Aftersun” say they hope audiences can identify with what it was like when they were in their teens. (Julie Dermansky / Chicago Sun-Times)

For director Jonathan King and the lead actress in his film, Mckenzie Wright, “Aftersun” is an opportunity to recapture the magic of their own youth, when they were teenagers.

So often in young adults these days, they say, is there a nostalgia for the past that people have trouble forgetting.

In an effort to shed light on the topic, the Chicago Sun-Times and NBC U-Tv have teamed up to talk to more than a dozen adults about their memories of adolescence, exploring how the memories were shaped and how they affect the way we feel as adults.

“I think everyone has these deep and meaningful encounters with themselves as a teenager and then they pass them down,” said King, who grew up in New York near a playground and a subway entrance.

“I think there’s a desire to share how difficult it is to make that connection with other people,” added Wright, who was raised by her mother. “I think we’re more aware of it because of the news and the internet. But the way that we express our feelings is kind of more honest.”

In that context, there’s the feeling of not wanting to say anything wrong, which is understandable, they said.

King said he’s more comfortable with the idea of sharing something he’s never told anyone else. “I feel like telling you about this is a little bit more of a secret between me and you,” he said. “I’d rather have that bond than the other way around.”

But it’s not just about sharing, it’s about creating a bond. When Wright, 17, was filming “Aftersun,” her co

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