Every so often I see a movie where I want to grab people and say, "You've really got to see this movie." In the last couple of weeks, I've seen two of those movies (thank you, Netflix!). Both are about people living in dangerous times under tyrannical regimes. In both movies, most of the characters are struggling with questions concerning how much of their sense of SELF they can give up in order to survive and not become someone else.
The first movie, which I saw this past weekend, is The Lives of Others (German, with English subtitles). It came out in 2006, and I meant to see it in the theater, and .... anyway. It won all sorts of awards, including the Oscar for best foreign film of the year. The movie concerns the Stasi (secret police) in East Germany in the 1980s, and the surveillance of "enemies of the state." There are SO many places where this movie could have gone seriously offtrack - violence, torture, sentimentality, big dramatic scenes - and it doesn't go those places. It is a quiet, carefully controlled film where one really gets inside the heads of the characters. Put this in your queue, borrow it from the library, whatever. Just see it.
The second movie, which I saw the weekend before last, is The Black Book (Dutch, with English subtitles). It also came out in 2006. I had never heard of it, and I'm not entirely sure how it got in my queue, but I'm glad it did. The film is set in The Netherlands in the last few months of the Second World War and is centered on a young Jewish woman who has been hiding from the Nazis through the duration of the war. The film starts with her losing her hiding place and having to find another way to survive. This is also a very intense movie, filled with lots of places where the movie makers could have gone seriously off track, but the movie stays close to the heroine as she struggles to make it out alive.
Both of these movies have been accompanying me on my daily rounds as I think through some of the decisions the characters made and why they made them. I like movies that do that to me. That's what I've been reading - subtitles!!
On a crafty note, I bound, sleeved (for the show), and labeled the Scraptastic quilt this past weekend, around my other activities. You'll see that I went with a different fabric for the binding. I had wanted to use this fabric, but I didn't think I had enough until I came across another piece of it in a different cupboard.
The next few days will be taken up with The Ann Arbor Art Fairs. There are four official fairs and a couple of unofficial ones, and the closest to my office starts just across the street from the building where I work. Woo hoo!! Of course, I love to stroll the streets and look at the pretty stuff and talk to artists and buy special items; but, get real, the one constant every year is this: