We discuss the ending of the Netflix film Stromboli (2022), which will contain spoilers.
Stromboli is about this recently divorced woman who decided to register for a ‘From Fear to Love’ retreat on the Italian volcanic island of Stromboli. She is then confronted with her painful past that she has been trying to hide. She tries to distract herself the best that she can while on this retreat but no matter what she does her past comes back to haunt her.
It’s nice to see a woman at the forefront trying to navigate her past by pushing forward and trying different things. She has a tie to the island because of her husband and her daughter. She tries to enjoy the moments on the island but memories creep in. It’s a complex performance by Elise Schaap because she has to hold her emotions inward while engaging with others on the island.
Even when she sees young girls on the island, she is reminded about her life as a young adult and then even her daughter. She doesn’t feel desirable anymore and men on the island don’t treat her as she should be treated.
Stromboli ending explained
What was Sara hiding?
During one exercise with the retreat, Sara vividly explains her traumatic past and retells the night she was assaulted. She has carried it with her the entire time and Hans re-enacts it right in front of her with someone else. She has to witness her trauma in front of her again. This is a very odd way to release those demons, but Sara has an out-of-body experience during this period.
Do Sara and Hans end up together?
Hans is the only one who understands Sara and sees her for who she is now. After going through certain exercises together, their bond only grows stronger. He ends up defending her in many ways and takes care of her. She has learned to embrace her future and to cast aside her past because she doesn’t live in that moment anymore. There’s this new clarity towards the end of the film because she has released that piece of her.
Sara slowly falls for Hans (Pieter Embrechts) while on this retreat which is unexpected for her. But their relationship feels so pure and genuine that it feels right. One night, the two of them had to bring Harold (Tim McInnerny) to bed and the three of them end up falling asleep there.
She has a full realization after being on this retreat and it’s important for her to be open and communicate feelings about her past. She then calls her daughter and tells her that she will tell her everything about her past for clarification on the way she is.
Hans and Sara end up together in the end as she returns back to Holland with him by her side.
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