Reading Movies

Mar 03, 2005 08:05 # 33733

rosyxxx *** feels excited about...

Dirty Pretty Things

100% | 5

After rewatching this movie on DVD last night, I was struck by the very same images that it thrust in my face upon first watching it in the theatre. A movie, primarily, about illegal aliens living in London as virtual 'slaves' to the system... it is also a movie about the resilience of the human heart in the face of so much deadening and mind-numbing pain and loneliness.

Audrey Tatou, the French actress of Amelie fame, and of the movie: A Very Long Engagement, played the starring role. Like a modern day Audrey Hepburn of sorts... she has this quiet, shy, unassuming way about her acting that gets under your skin. Her character in the movie, Shania, is so innocent and so naive. So fragile. On the surface.

And then the wisdom that comes to her from painful lessons in life, opens her heart even further, when it was already open wide. She did not close herself off to humanity because of the misery she endured... she opened her heart even further.

But more than all of that, the way this movie touches at the core of the misery endured by people fleeing their countries for a better life... the neverending red-tape, the mind-boggling stipulations not to seek employment while starving to death, and trying to make it in a new world, that supposedly is supposed to be better than your own... and even with all the pain and atrocities, generally is better for a lot of people than where they were before.

There are all kinds of slaves. People think that 'true slavery', not the role-playing kind, is a thing of the past. There are 'slaves to the system', slaves to unscrupulous bosses, slaves sold into slavery by their families...

I think there was a National Geographic article a while back about the very subject of slavery primarily in third world countries.

People come to first world nations like England, Germany, the United States, and others, to get away from horrible conditions... only to find that having grown up abused and misused and mistreated leaves them prey to either low-level abuse, or abuse much like what they thought they were leaving behind.

All in the midst of those of us living in the land of plenty. The land of milk and honey. The land of: policemen on white horses, sparkling lights in trees, and beautiful bridges...

I guess we have a lot to be grateful for... besides being thankful everytime the cleaning lady cleans our rooms when we stay in a hotel... thankful everytime the cabdriver gets us where we are going safely while listening to his classical music tapes, or sharing friendly conversation in a strange city...thankful to the people working in the underbelly of society who provide us with what we need, while we make thousands of dollars.

The people working at jobs that don't necessarily require a 'work Visa', but somehow put food on their tables, and provide us, the happy citizens with our 'birthright' birth certificates in our respective first world countries with all the daily services that keep our lives running smoothly or not so smoothly.

People struggling to survive in countries where it should NOT be a struggle to survive.

This movie hit me hard again. It was as if Shania's (Audrey Tatou) friends jumped out of the television box, punched me in the gut, and said: :"Wake the fuck up! You are so blessed to be living where you are, living like you do. Appreciate it!"

If mountain goats like living at high elevations, why do none live in high rise apartment buildings?

Mar 03, 2005 19:09 # 33747

zen *** replies...

Thoughts on gratitude

69% | 3

thankful everytime the cabdriver gets us where we are going safely while listening to his classical music tapes,

I'll take that to mean you've never ridden a taxi in New York City.
Given enough time, I'm sure one is bound to find classical music in a cab...kinda like the theory that given enough time enough monkeys will create the works of Shakespeare.

There are all kinds of slaves

I feel that way every time I leave my place of employment.

I describe my last factory jobs as: having left a piece of my soul there. I have to go back the next day to try to get it back.

Nice summary.

I'll bet that just took 5 years off my life--but GODDAMM if it wasn't worth every second

Mar 04, 2005 03:54 # 33779

rosyxxx *** agrees...

Re: Thoughts on gratitude

80% | 3

Thankful every time the cab driver gets us where we are going safely while listening to his classical music tapes,

I'll take that to mean you've never ridden a taxi in New York City.

Heh... actually, I have, but I was four. I wasn't paying attention much back then...

But my Dad has traveled back and forth to New York alot, and he has regaled me repeatedly with two stories about travel in New York that struck me as not fitting the stereotype.

First, he left his wallet on top of a payphone in LaGuardia airport... and someone, a New Yorker, returned it. But then these are the same people who pulled together like a family during the tragedy of 9/11.

Secondly, he met a New York City cab driver who asked if he liked opera, and when my Dad said "yes," the cab driver got out of the car and asked my Dad to come back to the trunk to peruse his vast collection of operatic overtures and classical music tapes as well...they enjoyed a pleasurable cab ride listening to music that they both loved. I forget what opera it was though...

the theory that given enough time enough monkeys will create the works of Shakespeare.

Ha... ha... they are washing potatoes on that little island right now! Isn't that 'The Hundredth Monkey' theory? And dude, we were just talking about organ grinder monkeys last night... how coincidental...

And yes, I too feel like I leave a part of my soul at work everytime I go in there... but of course, you know, for me, it is not a factory job. But my job is in the underbelly of society, and by many standards today, it isn't worth much.

And I don't get any benefits, nor any workman's comp if I injure myself... but then again, I have job and vacation flexibility, for the most part, that most Americans don't have. Or I used to, until changes made at the end of last year.

But I totally agree with the fact that even a large majority of the citizens born in this country are struggling daily to live at a substandard median income wage. Most people who work the service industry jobs, struggle constantly, working two jobs, if not more, just to make ends meet. And every day is stress.

It isn't just the illegal aliens. But then, some of it is how you look at it too... it is just hard on some days to look at a job that won't pay your bills, and wears you to the bone and think of it as a blessing when you see rich bastards spending money like water. I know it makes me wish I could spend money like water too... There definitely are 'class lines' in this country that no one wants to acknowledge... we like to pretend that we are all equal. And like they say in George Orwell's book Animal Farm, I think, we are all equal, but some of us are more equal than others... and those others would be the illegal aliens.

And yet, for most people, even those born in this country or other first world countries...one slip... and they fall. No safety nets. And there are a lot of stinkin' banana peels. That is a hell of a lot of stress to live under. I agree.

If mountain goats like living at high elevations, why do none live in high rise apartment buildings?

This post was edited by rosyxxx on Mar 04, 2005.


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