Some movies roil things up inside of us for the wrong reasons. Sonata, an Indian movie in English, was one such for me. Yet, I watched it to the end and here I am writing about it too. Let me say at the outset that I recommend it to all women everywhere of all ages. When I saw the trailer, despite not having watched more than a handful of movies this year (focusing on writing projects), I knew I had to make time to watch the entire thing. The aspects that drew me in were as follows:
International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Today, in 1945, the largest Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz, was freed. Among those set free was Primo Levi, the Italian-Jewish chemist and writer. The 1997 movie, ‘Truce’, is based on Levi’s memoir about the ~9-month journey back home. It was beautifully-made and John Turturro rendered him with a nuanced sensitivity and without the usual Hollywood overwrought sensationalism. It’s among the finest in Italian neorealism cinema — Pasolinian “cinema of poetry”. Here’s a review I wrote in 2013.
On October 19th, 1945, Primo Levi, an Italian Jew and chemist, finally returned to his home in Turin, Italy after having spent 11 months at Auschwitz and another harrowing ~9 months on a circuitous, long journey via Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. The Truce is a movie about that journey, during which time, he also began his writing career.
Given the odds of survival at Auschwitz and the difficult route he had to take to get home, it was something of a miracle that he made it alive. The traumas of both the camp and the journey left permanent scars that never healed over the rest of his life, as they had done for countless others. When he died in 1987, Elie Wiesel, a fellow Holocaust survivor, remarked that “Primo Levi died at Auschwitz forty years earlier.”
And, yet, during those forty years after his release and return home, Levi…
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I'm still working on wrapping up my favorite stories of 2015. This post focuses on stories from TV, film, radio. With television, I didn't watch as much as I have done in past years. Though, going by all the many end-of-year lists by various media outlets, there was just an absolute glut of wonderful new shows. … Continue reading 2015: A Year of TV, Film, Radio