The difference between guilt and shame is very clear—in theory. We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are.
LEWIS B. SMEDES
last night a good friend and i went to see "the reader". after all kate winslet's acceptance speech giving, i thought it probably worth the time. it was that and much much more.
taking place over a span of time in berlin, it embodies the mindset of wartime, post war, and the reconstruction of that city. so many aspects of the effects of wwII that we don't often see rolled into one sitting. and i would say that this film felt as if it were a good first look at our culture. the scene in the law school classroom with the student exclaiming "how did you let this happen? and how did you not kill yourself when it did?" was powerful for me. no doubt this disgust and shame has been felt my a couple of generations of post-war germany.
the secrecy that accompanies much of what we hold shame for in our lives, often compels us to make decisions that are not healthy. and many times those people we care for the most are destined to live with the the repercussions of our decisions as well as us. perhaps we don't always see this when we are stuck in our shame.
this is one of the themes of this film - at least in my eyes. shame is crippling. it is paralyzing. it creates drought. this is shame's path in this film. and we watch helplessly as those affects play out in these lives.
for me, this is one of the hard parts of life. loving someone and watching helplessly as they make decisions and choices that are shame-based or from impulse. being reminded that i am helpless in steering others' lives. hell, i have enough challenges just careening my own life.
"the reader" was a foie gras appetizer for me. it was flavorful, it was distinct, and it was decidedly delicious. and as my experience with appetizers goes, it left me hungering for a substantial meal.
speaking of substantial, today's sound choice is an amazing one. it's "love that girl" from the album "the way i see it" by raphael saadiq.