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October 16, 2008
I was asked this morning about the books that I`ve talked about in the last post. Sorry about it, I forgot to list them. I`ll put a few of them (I won`t remember them all since all my books are in Brazil...)
The Wealth and Poverty of Nations
By David S Landes '
Wonderful book. The writer is a British historian and economist that does some brilliant analysis about why some countries became rich and some poor. Landes has a very liberal/rightist way of looking at the history and is everything but politically correct. Great book.
Guns, Germs & Steel
By Jaired Diamond
Espectacular. About the development of the great civilisations, how they appeared and why they appeared where they did. I`m a big fan of Jared Diamond is an American evolutionary biologist,physiologist, biogeographer...
Another great book by him is
The history of civilisations that collapsed. Some for not taking care of the environment, some for because of wars, some because of bad political decisions...fantastic!
Age of Extremes
A famous ans classic book about the history of the XX century
That are some of the books that is some way refer to the subject I wrote on the post bellow.
October 05, 2008
- The Wave
I`ve seen that movie in the Arts Center on friday, Oct 3rd, 20:45.
I`ve had great expectations about that movie. Have readen about it beforehand I thought it looked like a great story. And it really is a interesting one. It is about a teacher, with a very open mind (and a "hippie" way of life) who decides to have a different approach when teaching his students about autocracy. But that different approach have several consequences.
Being a German movie, the theme is even more relevant due to all the emotional thing that still comes when the autocracy systems is talked about (remember that the 3rd reich, the whole nazi-fascist thing was a very clear example of an autocracy). Even though Germans deal with it very nicely nowadays it is still a sensible theme.
Watching the filme reminded a famous quote by former US president Thomas Jefferson : "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance" . It is funny because following New York`s September 11th terrorist act, this quote has been used as an excuse for several decisions that had more to do with invading individuals life's and not respecting individual rights. It`s important to remember that the what TJ meant was that if you one keep your freedom and you`re rights you have got to all keep an eye open for those who do not, for all the attempts of taken your free-thinking away under some nice-looking excuse. You can never leave your freedom for itself.
Anyway, that`s what the movie is talking about. And the director does it in a very simple, very straight, very tale like sort of way. Some highlights of the movie are the acting of the main character, the teacher (played by Jürgen Vogel) and some of the young actors, specially the one playing Tim (Frederick Lau). Both are wonderfull. The soundtrack is a very nice one, specially for those who enjoy old punk rock classics such as Ramones and so forth.
Being a tale sort of story (reminded me very much of George Orwels novel "Animals Farm" that is also a tale about autocracy), the film sometimes simplifies to much things that are much more complicated in real life. This is really useful in order to get the message through but it might make the whole thing a bit naive and shallow for those who have spent some time over this kind of social question. Lot`s of stereotypes are used in order to make the story more easy to understand and more universal. That`s not necessarily bad but it might frustrate those who have more experience in social sciences.
Some of the young actors are also not as good as Jurgen and Frederick. Guess it is not easy to find a whole bunch of good young actors specially if you do not have a Holly-Bollywoodd movie industry going on. Another minor problem of the movie is that since the director has choosen to use a more staright, more conventional approach to the way he told the story (instead of the avant-gard-experimental format used by many so-called indie productions) he could have smoothen a bit the script and the direction itself. At some moments the story get`s a bit to silly because is very easy to know what`s is going to happen next. For example, when he shows a gun he does it so explicitly, that is very easy to guess that something will soon happen with it. Some scene transitions are also not as smooth as they should be, so you don`t really get the connection between the bits. That the kind of error that silly industrial non-pretentious holly/bollywood movies never make. They know how to avoid it.
But that are jost minor things, the movie is worth the view and due to it`s clearness and simplicity is a nice introduction to how can terrible ideas, if shown in a nice and clever way can turn normal and and appropriate citizens in terrible and ignorant tyrants.