THE DOOR is a universal symbol of life, of death, of entering the next life. It has many associations inherent in it, both positive and negative. It can mean an opportunity gained or an opportunity lost: as one door opens, another one closes…
The film opens with an absurd act: stealing a door. This raises a question in the viewer’s mind, a question which is not answered until the final shot where the door’s purpose is revealed. Then, what had seemed an absurd act turns into a simple statement of human dignity, of people making sense of loss through ritual.
THE DOOR reflects the fact that it is based on someone’s testimony. Images are impressionistic, haunting, like fragments of memories which the viewer must piece together. Although the main character, Nikolai, gives us the facts, he himself is trying to make sense of them in his own mind.
The story moves forwards and backwards in time, revealing the events retrospectively as the viewer bears witness to the universal tragedy of Chernobyl through the eyes of one man. THE DOOR was nominated for an Academy Award® in 2010.