“When I was a very small boy, before my sister was with me, I would often hide from my parents and run into the forest behind our home. I felt that it called to me – that I should be there. Sometimes I would carry our cat, Medus, with me as a witness to my adventures. She would try to jump away from me, and I would laugh and laugh.
Once my sister was born, I had an accomplice in my adventures, for our home and land seemed so very vast and I needed someone to see what I saw, to feel what I felt, and make it real.
Taking her by the hand, we would walk and pick berries and mushrooms. I would clean the berries with my shirt before putting them in her mouth. Her mouth red from the juices; face bright and smiling. We would walk together and when we would tire, we would lie on our backs and look up at the trees wondering where they ended…when they ended. Could we climb up and see?
And our mother would call us back home, not with her voice but with the smell of bread baking.
So when my sister would tire and want to return, she would lift her arms to me and I would carry her back and smell her hair. It smelled of grass and sunlight and happiness. And I was happy, and believed in the good of the natural world around me.
And then it all changed.”
Will listened to Hannibal, and wrapped his arms around him from behind. Water splashed gently around them. The only sound was the dripping of the faucet in the bathtub.
Ok but let’s think about Mischa living while Hannibal dies a child. Basically, let’s imagine Hannibal as a woman - because Mischa doesn’t have enough of a developed personality for me to explore her as an individual.
Rather than a cannibalistic Bluebeard-esque story, this becomes a Medea story.
Mischa doesn’t eat her victims, no, that would make her no better than her brother’s murderers. Mischa kills them, butchers them like the animals they are, and then she Feeds them. To their loved ones.
She becomes notorious, not for feeding on human bodies in elaborate feasts, but for Feeding her victims to people she despises. Like a witch out of ancient history.
Her relationship with Clarice would be fascinating too. You can still have the underlying sexual feelings and a weird, sisterly bond. But now Mischa is Clarice’s witchy mentor? Like, can you imagine??
Mischa as a lost princess trope, Mischa with her borderline abusive aunt/uncle depending, Mischa as a successful psychiatrist, a male dominated field. Mischa as the first and only serial killer who is utterly undefinable. Elusive and appealing because she’s beautiful and deadly and older and wiser than those who try to study her.
Hannibal held on to Mischa so hard, held to Mischa with his wiry grip until they slammed the heavy barn door on him, stunning him and cracking the bone inhis upper arm… He prayed so hard that he would see Mischa again, the prayer consumed his six-year-old mind, but it did not drown out the sound of the axe.
– Violent, unlucky, beautiful souls washed in with the tide, washed up in their solitude, thrown together like clashing stars. City streets, shattered memories; the daunting task of love in a frigid, helpless landscape. Two, clashing products of fearful upbringing, a red sky of uncertainty. Two people, making a single place for themselves on earth.
Mischa, we take comfort in knowing there is no God. That you are not enslaved in a Heaven, made to kiss God’s ass forever. What you have is better than Paradise. You have blessed oblivion. I miss you every day.
Hannibal’s eulogy for his sister, Hannibal Rising, Thomas Harris
I’ve always seen Hannibal and Mischa as two sides to the same coin. Mischa was the light in the darkness: pure and immaculate like freshly fallen snow. Hannibal is the darkness hidden within the light: tainted and corrupt. They balanced each other out, but now that one side is gone the other has grown unstable and destructive. And I feel Hannibal Rising did an amazing job showing that with incredibly clever uses of cinematography.