Loved, loved, loved (!) the movie “Fire at Sea!” Notes:

I love movies (like Moonlight) where the director believes in the intelligence of his/her audience while telling a powerful story and delivering a powerful message.  For me, “Fire at Sea” was that way.  It was a movie that was comfortable delivery subtle comments and with letting a scene slowly unfold, where it is comfortable showing the doctor give an ultrasound for five minutes or just showing four workers stare out at sea.  It is a wonderful, powerful movie and the most beautiful film that way since “The Great Beauty.”  Some observations (with some spoilers):

  • The beginning of the movie we see the boy making a weapon and hunting birds, but at the end of the movie he is merely singing to the bird – shows our ability to change our ways.
  • The doctor makes a comment that it is the responsibility of all of us to help the immigrants (who are dying).
  • The doctor, during the ultrasound, can’t make out the sex of the second child since they are too intertwined.  “But don’t worry, we’ll get it.”  He patiently, patiently seeks the sex.  I see that scene as stating we are all intertwined and too intertwined, and it will take patience and diligence and care and perserverence to resolve our/this problem.  I also see the scene later in the movie where the woman takes a full five minutes to carefully make her bed as again emphasizing that things take time and persistence and patience.
  • The boy is having struggles rowing – his friend throws his a lifeline so he is not crushed by the boats, then rows him to safety.  That is, we all need a helping hand and we need to offer a helping hand.
  • The boy has a lazy eye, so he works to correct his vision from 20/100 to 20/30 by wearing the eye patch. Later, when he is sea sick he is told to to go the sea when there are high waves to get his sea stomach.  That is, we have a problem (the refugee crisis) but we can fix it with work.
  • The woman wishes for a little health that day, like we all want to be healthy and happy (including the refugees).  It’s not too much to ask.

I’d love to watch this movie again – these are just a few observations off the top of my head a day later and I am sure there are more.

It is a tragic tale but one that also offers help and a nudge for us to help.  I wish we in the US were helping more (at a time when Donald Trump wants to do less!) – I am going to write my congress person about that.  Those poor souls – and the scene of the people dead at the bottom of the boat was awful but moving, like watching the Holocaust images in some ways (and to the people who died in such misery, the result is the same).

The movie makes me want to move to Sicily 🙂

Finally, it has been a great year for documentaries.  OJ: Made in America, 13th and I Am Not Your Negro were all wonderful and deserving; my vote for Oscar this year though is this one (“Fire at Sea”).

Loved, loved, loved (!) the movie “Fire at Sea!” Notes:

Posting my index cards on history

I tolerated history in junior high school and high school, with the exception of my fall 9th grade year where I had a very prepared teacher who I thrived under.  But otherwise, I was generally a B and C history student.  This is unfortunate, because now that I am an adult I realize that I find history fascinating and spend a lot of time reading about it.  I am starting to document what I know about history (not much :)) so I don’t forget it and can review it.  Plus, I just like to “write” (i.e. type) stuff down.


Posting my index cards on history

Thoughts on Venice (from 2013)

We spent a day in Venice in 2013, and here are my memories from it…

I loved St. Peter’s Square, the large white cathedral often seen in movies.  It was a beautiful square and a beautiful church.  I love that when I see it in movies that it takes me back to my visit there.

Movies don’t capture the smell of Venice, which wasn’t pleasant.  The water doesn’t smell good, and there is a lot of exhaust hanging about. I felt like I needed to wash my skin off from the exhaust.

It is incredibly easy to get lost on the walkways.  THere are so many back ways that look alike (not in a bad way) and they are quiet, so it is easy to lose my way 🙂

It is a wonderful, sad city.  Sad in that there is *a lot* of motorboat traffic on the main ways, it was choked with tourists in parts of town, and the water is dirty (garbage floating in it).  Wonderful in that it is fun to be there because of its fame, and it is Italy (I love Italy).

The back water ways were dreamy.  Quiet, peaceful, surreal.

With global warming and the city sinking, I can’t imagine it will be there 100s of years from nbow.

I love Italy.  I love the pace of life, the food, the apprecation for life (food, conversation, coffee, clothes, wine, etc.), that dressing is an art (you don’t see Italians in yoga pants and tennis shoes), and even the heat.  My two favorite countries I’ve spent time in are Italy and France, and I love the people and cultures of both places.  Venice was not my favorite Italian city, but it is part of Italy and I love Italy.

Thoughts on Venice (from 2013)

Read a little about Tunisia, Tunisia-France relations – in short, there is a long history there…

I am a partially ignorant American, but in the wake of the awful attacks in Nice (where the photos I saw looked like something out of D-Day, with the sheet-strewn road), was curious as to why someone originally from Tunisia might be inspired to attack France.  Of course, part of me was thinking I should not read this information to protest the events in Nice, but the reality is ducking my head in the sand (ignorance) is never a good thing. So…

In short, without taking sides, there is clearly history between France and Tunisia… Tunisia is an extremely old part of the settled world.  It is the site of Carthage, which rivaled ancient Rome for supremacy in the Mediterranean BCE world until The Punic Wars.  In 1881 France invaded/conquered Tunisia and encouraged Europeans to settle there.  In 1956, Tunisia won independence from France, and in 1957 France cut funding to Tunisia due to its (Tunisia) support of Algeria.  For decades, France did not censure or apply pressure to Tunisia’s highly corrupt president, and it took massive protests (including a street vendor lighting himself on fire) in 2010 for this so-called president to lose his control of Tunisia.  Source: Wikipedia.

We continue to live in an interesting time of terror and mass killings, not only by terrorists but by mad men/women and governments.  Humans are a crazy species.  I’ve always been afraid of bears on hiks, but I walk among humans ever day – I never hear of bears killing massive amounts of other bears.  Why am I more afraid of bears in nature than humans in “civilization?”

Read a little about Tunisia, Tunisia-France relations – in short, there is a long history there…

Thinking fondly of the Aure River in Bayeux France

Had a few moments to appreciate a waterfall in the middle of Bend Oregon today along the Deschuttes River.  It was in the last moments of dusk, as a bright moon hung over the falls in the middle of downtown Bend, which in so many ways is more like a village than a city.  It was peaceful, but it really made me think back on — and appreciate — the waterfalls and waterwheel along the Aure River in France where it disects Bayeaux, in the shadow of the Bayeaux Cathedral. Wonderful place and a beautiful village. I thoroughly enjoyed the three days we stayed in Bayeaux in 2013.   

Thinking fondly of the Aure River in Bayeux France

Am remembering the kind people I met in Nice France, and the euphoria of Bastille Day…

I am not a well traveled American, but I have been two France twice, including Nice, France.  I remember a baker and her daughter were very helpful and kind, and threw in an extra cookie for me.  I also remember the waiter who tried so desperately to help us find a cab back to our ship, and the saintly tour bus driver who chauffered us like a mad man back to our ship before it took off.  I am thinking of the four of them today, and hoping they are okay.

I am also remembering the Bastille Day we spent in Paris a few years ago.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  People were in a euphoric mood, with parades and helpful police and soldiers everywhere.  People sat and drank wine by the Seine.  Then, that night, the incredible once-in-a-lifetime fireworks celebration over the Eiffel Tower.  Remembering the festive mood of that day, it is especially devestating to think similar people were struck down in the midst of their festivities.

I loved the people of France.  They were helpful, kind and friendly.  I am not sure why terrorists are targeting that country.  Why not target the jerks of the world to make a statement?  

Am remembering the kind people I met in Nice France, and the euphoria of Bastille Day…