Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter Break Movies

I finished up school on Wednesday, and vowed to take a few days off before diving into my thesis. Thus I spent a few days basically playing on the computer (note the million pictures I posted) and watching movies.

We spent a thoroughly enjoyable couple of evenings watching Big Love. I love this show. It hooked me right from the beginning....likely due to my interest in "Mormon Fundamentalism" but even beyond that it's good drama. I've really come to like the characters even Niki who I kind of hated during the first season. Now I have a "love to hate her" kind of relationship. She's wonderful conniving but also strangely loyal in her own way to the "family." I also love Roman, the patriarch at the compound. I know total bad guy but still love him. I just took a quiz to see which sister I am, and it's Margene! LMAO. Now she's the last one I would have picked.

We also saw "This is England." It was good. I can't say I got very excited about it. It was disturbing in parts. I thought it interesting to get a glimpse of the National Front which one of my theory books centers around. But...well it just seemed like such a typical story about racism and nationalism. I mean, for someone who cares about this stuff it just seemed like "Well yeah." I've seen a lot of good movies that make me think this. I felt this way about American History X and Crash. Both were good movies and I thought they were well-done but they just seemed to lack a bit of complexity. They didn't make me uncomfortable nor did they make me examine myself in any kind of profound way. They made it too easy to say "That's not me nor could it ever be me."

Maybe it's because H and I watched a movie called "The Believer." This movie was amazingly complex and incredibly disturbing. It is about a Jewish man who becomes a Neo-Nazi. It explores his entrance into this extreme group, and the intense self-hatred he struggles to reconcile with his heritage. It made me realize that racism is an intensely internalized kind of thing, and it's something that makes us do really crazy shit. I don't know if I can even begin to put into words how this movie made me feel. It was the most painful, hardest movie I have ever seen on racism. More importantly it made me question how racism lives in me. What ways am I racist without even necessarily being aware? It made me question how racism becomes self-directed. I think this movie makes that a dramatic move but I think in reality it is often much more subtle. I know for me this happens with class. There ways that I hate myself, ways that I mock "rednecks", etc that come from this intense conditioning that being low class is a very bad thing. Basically, this movie made it impossible to exnogerate yourself from hatred. That's a hard kind of thing to sit through.

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