Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Pianist

Today I watched the movie The Pianist for the first time. Seeing as it was an Oscar winner, I thought I should at least be able to say that I saw it. It was a good movie, though I didn't enjoy it as much as I was hoping I would. But what I kept thinking about the whole time was how much I didn't understand about human nature. I am aware the there were complicated social and political and economic factors that made it easy for the Nazi's to make Jewish people the scapegoats for all of Germany's problems, but I still can never understand how so many people across Europe could allow people that were their friends and neighbors to be treated so terribly. Even if they didn't know about Jewish people being exterminated in the camps, they saw Jewish people getting their rights and property taken away and they saw violence against Jewish people everyday. How can so many people just stand by and let that happen? Also, there are many scenes in the film where German soldiers kill Jewish people in the streets for no apparent reason. Everytime something like this happened in the film, I wondered what could possibly be going throught that person's head when they did that. Granted, I'm not sure how much of that is what really happened and how much of that violence in the movie is a hold-over from Roman Polanski's horror days, but I still don't understand how a soldier could justify killing an unarmed, unthreatening civilian in the street. I have to admit that I'm not sure I could kill someone if I was in a war, but, if they were an opposing soldier who was going to kill me, it would at least be justified. I would like to hear from someone on the other side, a Nazi German soldier who killed civilians, why, and how he felt about it at the time and after the war had ended.

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