Dealing with the death of a child is the worst crisis a parent can face, and films that depict this process are usually as bleak and depressing as the subject matter dictates. For the Living and the Dead, however, breaks out of this familiar landscape with a piercing, incisive look at the repercussions within a Finnish family after the death of their youngest member in a car fire. With outstanding performances that are both completely natural and deeply affecting, this work from writer-director Kari Paljakka not only commemorates loss, but also celebrates life and the need for survivors to move on.