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"The woman I loved is... dead."
Christian, Moulin Rouge
"I'd propose there's a counterpart to the MPDG, though I don't have nearly as catchy a name. That would be the guilt-inducing ghost wife, filmed in ethereal late afternoon light, fragile, frequently desexualized, a specter of memory and failure haunting our tortured, widowed heroes -- why couldn't I save her -- in visions, flashbacks or more fantastical set-ups. (...) Idealized and resented, ghost wives are both saint and tormentor, instrumental to the plot, spurring our mourning hero on to seek revenge, redemption or resolution. Like the MPDG, there's a distinct subjective quality to their characterization -- they're along for the ride, but they don't get to tell the story. Unlike the MPDG, being dead, the best they can hope for is to be banished or joined in the afterlife."
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