Thursday, October 26, 2006

Flags of Our Fathers (movie review)

Eastwood and Spielberg exercise state of the art skills to recreate the utter and complete hell that was Iwo Jima. A small set of lucky souls is magically transported to Alien America, to raise money for this terrible hell, and they find this confusing unto death, though they each deal with it differently.

Who are all these people and what are we doing here? Why is hell a real place and not just in the Bible?

What's palpable about these civilians is how they've surrendered so completely to the illusion that there must be some victory in this picture, when it's really all about suffering and dying, with the humanity of one's buddies never in doubt such that somehow on some level it was worth every penny, just to have died there with them. But that doesn't make war OK.

By today's standards, the treatment of those lucky soldiers was inexcusable. We're talking full blown PTSD, in the Indian's case like a flat out psychosis (but then aren't Indians supposed to be crazy? -- look at what happened to them).

Putting nut jobs like these (and I mean that affectionately) in the full glare of packed stadiums, expecting them to perform like pet hamsters or something (look where that got 'em the first time), was out and out animal cruelty. But then, that's what war is.

I salute the makers of this film (actors, logistics...) for reminding us why we want a lot of diplomatic activity, strong friendships across oceans, tourism, deep sharing and listening. The film itself salutes the actual stars, more than I, just some guy, could ever do alone.

We very much want and need to stay sane on this planet, all the more so given our discouraging track record (but King Kong makes us proud).

Our humanity was never in doubt, let's remember that. We were indeed "good people".

But let's face it, Universe is a difficult game and we're far from perfect players (as the angels keep reminding us, when they best us in soccer).

May we always play better together and love a lot more. We are worth every penny.