samedi, janvier 17, 2004

I just finished watching The Pianist. This is a powerful, heartbreaking film. It cut into my soul.

Adrien Brody's portrayal of Wladyslaw Szpilman surviving the atrocities done to the Jews in occupied Warsaw, Poland is magnificent.

I wish everyone could see this movie. It portrays man’s inhumanity to man. It shows human courage and dignity, as well as human cruelty and depravity. It present good and evil among the Jews, Poles and Germans alike. It doesn’t glorify any one group and demonise another as you might expect. It shows that there were kind, good, courageous people among the Jew’s, Pole’s and Germans and it depicts some from each people who chose evil. This is true of the Germans, Poles and Jews as well.

I was really struck by that part of the movie where Szpilman is shown to be starving. In these scenes his hair is straight and long, he is bearded and his face is gaunt and withered. At this point in the film Brody looks hauntingly like my brother Gerry did in the weeks before his death from cancer last July. I was taken a back by how much he resembled my beloved brother in those scenes. It broke my heart. This too added the power of the film for me, but even without that personal experiance, the film is a very powerful statement.

I am a man blessed so greatly. I know that I am no better than those millions of people swept up and shattered during World War II. I am no more worthy of peace and happiness than they were. Yet I do live in peace and prosperity, while they were swept up in a overwhelming tidal wave of death and destruction. Why? God alone knows.

Time and again in history individuals and masses of people have been brutalised and slaughtered by their fellow man for the most senseless of reasons. We all have ancestors who were brutalisers and who were brutalised. This is part of our common heritage. It is a product of the fall, and only the New Creation in Jesus Christ will finally end our corporate inhumanity and bring true and everlasting peace.

Dominus vobiscum,

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