Counteracting prejudice with movies

I saw this tweet late this afternoon and read the little article behind it…

… and it has made me feel completely sick! That comment about Jews, I will not repeat it here (don’t want those words on my blog) but I didn’t understand it at first. I’d never heard it before so I stared at it for a few seconds. Then it dawned on me what it was supposed to signify and I felt a punch in the gut, tears springing to my eyes. I literally couldn’t believe that such a cruel term existed! How disrespectful and hateful can someone be? How can anyone refer to survivors of the Holocaust like that? I just cannot wrap my head around such an awful comment. Ever since that antisemitic rant of that actor (he is also not worth mentioning) I have cringed at his name. Being drunk doesn’t excuse racist behaviour, it just exposes what is ingrained in a person. And that comment about gay people… wow… how can such a thing be said, even in jest?!?

Just before I read that I also read today (thank you Guylty for premiering the news for me!) that Richard Armitage will be making an LGBTQ+ movie called “Now and Then”. The article says it’s about: “Laura, in her 60s and Chris, her gay, middle-aged son, are forced to undertake an exploration of their past mistakes and regrets to try and make sense of their present condition and their relationship with each other. To find peace with now, it’s necessary for them to make peace with then.” Richard says it’s a role that resonates strongly with him (I would love to hear him speak more about that) and it sounds like a story with great potential. I’m really excited for this one!

We need movies like that to counteract the prejudice voiced by people like in the article above. We need more movies about antisemitism (that are not solely related to the Holocaust). Gregory Peck once made a good one in 1947 called Gentleman’s Agreement that may be a bit dated, yet still rings true today. It’s about a journalist who has to write a piece about antisemitism and to do so poses as a Jewish man for a few months…

In more recent years, we’ve also been getting some really good LGBTQ movies that have made it big, like the Moonlight movie last year that I loved about a young black man struggling with being gay, told during three key times in his life…

… and The Imitation Game about World War II code breaker Alan Turing who had experienced the necessity and cruelty of hiding that he was gay…

… and the movie Colin Firth made a decade ago called A Single Man about a college professor in 1962 wanting to kill himself after his boyfriend dies.

For Colin, this meant his first Oscar nomination and a turning point in his career when finally much better roles started coming his way again. I hope something like this will happen for Richard too, that this will be the door opening to other and better roles for him as well. Most importantly, though, this movie is a great thing in the fight against prejudice! The arts are so important…

Hine ma tov…

I am lost for words about what happened in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh yesterday. Antisemitic hate crimes, any hate crimes, have no place in this world…

Hateful rhetoric and stoking irrational fears lead to hateful acts, that can’t be a surprise to anyone. The American president can condemn hateful acts in the aftermath and call for unity, but I wish he, as a leader, could think more about being respectful and championing unity before these awful attacks happen. When will things get better? My thoughts are with the victims’ families, friends and the community.

2018-10-28 11_29_42-(5) Hinei Mah Tov, folk melodies - YouTube