Monday, April 16, 2007

Stasiland and The Lives of Others

After having watched The Lives of Others a few weeks ago I was finally moved to start reading a book by an author whom I had heard speaking at a VATE conference some time ago (2004). Her name is Anna Funder and the book is Stasiland. I did like the film which was fiction but was perturbed by the way women were portrayed in the film. It was not a film about women but the one female character seemed to be there simply as a cipher or a stereotype. For this reason it failed to be a fully satisfying experience. Now in reading Anna Funder’s book, a portrayal of an investigation she had done among the lives of various people who had lived in the German Democratic Republic before the fall of the Berlin Wall I felt that I had heard another perspective, another account of this history. The two different narratives sit very well together and would make an excellent combination to study together in the senior years of school. (The film appears to have an R rating outside of Australia, although I didn’t think it was that bad) Both stories have a sense of hope, are a source of inspiration, make us think about the “the dearest freshness deep down things” as Gerald Manley Hopkins says, what it means to be human in this world, where evil and goodness exist side by side.

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