So it was when I brought home two movie DVDs the other day that I pretty much had chosen at random from a selection of nearly 4,000 titles.
One movie, Everything is Illuminated, had caught my attention because it stars Elijah Wood, he of Lord of the Rings fame, and I was curious to see if he had the chops to act outside of his rather limited role as Frodo Baggins. (He can.) The other movie was Wondrous Oblivion, which I picked up because I liked what little I knew of its story line: Gawky English schoolboy is tutored in the finer points of cricket by a Jamaican neighbor in 1960s
Not to give away the plots, let alone the endings, but the "coincidences" between these two coming-of-age movies are fairly amazing.Everything is Illuminated is a 2005 release based on Jonathan Safran Foer's autobiographical novel and was directed by Liv Schreiber. The story: A young and neurotic American Jew (Wood) travels to the
Wondrous Oblivion is a 2003 release written and directed by Paul Morrison. The story: Eleven-year-old David Wiseman (Sam Smith) is the son of German Jewish émigrés and had a grandparent who died in a Nazi death camp. He is crazy about cricket but no good at it. When a cricket-loving Jamaican family moves in next door in their poor and prejudiced
Well, you coulda knocked me over with a feather.
This is because the coincidences between these two very good (if not brilliant) movies are deep and both offer the same rather profound lesson: From the clash of cultures and prejudice can come understanding and comity, virtues that are in notably short supply in today’s screwed up world.
Shaun, thanks for the movie info. I am amazed sometimes at the spectrum of profoundness that can be observed in the two hour time frame of a movie. I love the creativity of people.
I know you probably have too many blogs to read each day, but I'd recommend Prof. Chet Raymo's daily "musing" at ScienceMusings.com. I think more than anything else I'd love someday to sit around a porch and listen to you two converse--I know you'd have a lot to talk about and I would find it delightful!
As a genealogist (amateur), I found Everything Is Illuminated particularly poignant.
The observation that history does not exist for us to find--rather we exist to find historical truth--to be as accurate a statement about the reason for pursuing my hobby as any I've heard.
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