Three Movies and A Book
edited: Thursday, June 07, 2007
By WG Eggleton
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Thursday, June 07, 2007
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Review of three movies and one book.
It’s always interesting when life seems to take on a theme. Over the last week or two, the theme has been bigotry – that which makes our similarities negligible and our differences insurmountable.
First, there was the book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Many people read it in school. I didn’t but it was always on my list of things to do before I die (a list, of course, I intend to never complete). I did this past week finally read this wonderful book and enjoyed every page. The simple coming of age story gently shows how one young girl came to realize people are not equal, nor are they necessarily what others believe.
Next came, two videos: Hotel Rwanda and The Last Samurai. Each touching on a different aspect of man’s inhumanity to man but in each case one group determined to eliminate another. In one case the label justifying the action was tribal and in the second it was lifestyle
In all three of these pieces, the distance, and the violence, between the peoples provided the backdrop for the story of one character’s internal growth. Not so with the fourth piece, Crash – a film whose prerelease marketing had seemed to proclaim that it was about overt racism.
And it was. Or was it? In the opening moments, I did cringe at some of what the characters were saying. Then I didn’t. Had it changed or had I? The movie, these lives, became one large scale frantic dance with no beginning and no ending like a ride at the fairgrounds that’s out of control. Then just as suddenly, the movie changed again and became a little movie about the individual in each of us.
It, like the other three pieces, gives lots of food for thought, questions to ask. However, “Crash” does not present, or even hint at answers. And as I realized in grade nine, true learning comes from questions not from answers.