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Thursday, May 20, 2010

A movie to see

The Messenger
I watched "The Messenger" last night. I recommend it. Here are some excerpts from the New York Times' review of the movie.

At one point in “The Messenger” a soldier, just back from an overseas tour of duty, is telling a story during a welcome-home party with some friends. It starts out as a funny reminiscence of a local character he knew in Iraq, but when the anecdote takes a gruesome turn, the laughter is replaced by uncomfortable silence. Nobody gets the point of what he’s saying, or maybe nobody wants to hear it, and the happy mood of the reunion fractures.

That soldier is not one of the main characters in this movie, Oren Moverman’s sober and satisfying drama. He disappears after that one scene, having emphasized one of the film’s central insights. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have created a fissure in American society, a split that is not political but rather experiential — between the people who have been directly affected and those who have not.

No movie can convey the truth of war to those of us who have not lived through it, but “The Messenger,” precisely by acknowledging just how hard it is to live with that truth, manages to bring it at least partway home.

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