[Marxism] Catch A Fire
lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Oct 28 08:32:23 MDT 2006
>"Catch a Fire" has taken pains to show that Patrick is innocent and
>also to reveal the glitch in his personal life that compromises his
>alibi. The colonel, a specialist in mind games who treats suspects
>like lab animals to be manipulated, is sure he's got his man and acts
>Robbins does as well as anyone could playing the equivalent of the
>sympathetic Nazi, but despite obvious attempts to humanize him, the
>colonel's emotional range as a man firmly on the wrong side of
>history is finally too narrow to allow for a fully realized
So Tim Robbins plays an Afrikaner torturer who likes to bring his
prisoners over for Sunday dinner. I should explain that he does not
*eat* them, he only allows them to share a meal.
This sounds disturbingly like "In My Country," the movie about the
Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa that put a
liberal gloss on the struggle against apartheid.
During his stay in South Africa, Robbins met Mandela. He was
introduced by a South African businessman, an Afrikaner who
eventually recognized the futility of apartheid and staged illegal
meetings with the A.N.C. leadership. [He must have figured out at
some point that the ANC leadership could be bought off.]
"I thought we'd go to a banquet, and there'd be 300 people, and I'd
get to shake his hand. So I asked, 'Where will this be?' He said,
'Oh, at his house.' So we went and had lunch at Mandela's house.
"He talked a lot about Gandhi. Gandhi had been a lawyer in South
Africa and really discovered his mission because of the racism he
experienced in there.
"I was curious about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Where
did it come from? The Bible, the idea of turning the other cheek? Or
was it from Gandhi? He said, 'No, it was South America, Argentina.'
Someone pointed out that he was being too modest, that in Argentina,
the process involved only a handful of people. This was the whole country."
Catch a Fire is not the first movie to deal with apartheid, so why do
Robbins and his colleagues - director Philip Noyce and actor Derek
Luke, who plays Chamusso - want to revisit the subject?
"At the heart of it, I think it's the idea of forgiveness," said
Robbins. "That's the only real way forward. It's difficult to do.
It's against that retributive gene in us that makes us want to
avenge. But it's the only way toward relieving the violence. That's
an important story to tell."
--Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO), October 21, 2006
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