Hollywood Movie Insights II
by Rachel MacNair
See our previous Hollywood Movie Insights post, offering comments on several movies.
An Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film and winner of other awards, the story spans the life of an artist as a boy in Nazi Germany and a man in East Germany. He flees to West Germany right before the Berlin Wall was built. It’s of interest to history buffs and/or people interested in how art can be therapeutic to traumatized lives.
For consistent-lifers, its highly personal portrayal of the Nazi euthanasia program is shown as historically connected to war.
It’s also another film in which an abortion is inflicted on a woman who’s devastated about it. The abortion is performed by her formerly Nazi father, an ob/gyn, for eugenic reasons. He doesn’t think the baby’s father is worthy for his bloodline.
This theme of a coerced abortion as part of a sea of violence isn’t a common one in award-winning films or in Hollywood movies. But another example of a major studio film in which abortion was inflicted by men who see the woman as having no say is the Ides of March (see the third movie commented on in our previous post).
This is the story behind the official report on torture of prisoners of war under the Bush administration, with the euphemism “enhanced interrogation.” One point made crystal clear is how utterly wrong is the idea that violence, while regrettable, may be necessary to prevent greater violence in some circumstances. Building rapport with prisoners sometimes works as a way of getting information. Torture, on the other hand, always gets information that was false or already known.
Therefore, to make the case against torture as a war tactic, we need not rely entirely on the assertion that it’s wrong. It’s also demonstrated to be entirely useless.
A large company is poisoning the waters in the county where their employees work. The hero is a corporate lawyer who – knowing them as the neighbors he grew up with – takes the side of the poisoned.
That the poisoning is injuring unborn children is one of the shocking details of the callousness of the corporation. It has their pregnant mothers continue working in dangerous conditions. The mothers, of course, don’t know of the danger, but the corporate bosses do.
For more of our posts with movie reviews, see:
Hollywood Movie Insights (The Giver, The Whistleblower, and The Ides of March)