Monday, September 22, 2008

Monday Movie Review

I made a family favorite tonight in the few minutes where Rob and overlapped today (he came home literally minutes before I had to walk out the door for a WEFT board meeting). Whole wheat pasta with Esme sauce and garlic bread topping, peas and carrots, baked tofu (baked in Esme sauce), mangoes, and a very green smoothie. I wish I had time to take a picture because the smoothie was such a glorious green color, but alas you will just have to imagine. I was throwing in ingredients with help from the boys so it was a blur, but I think it was chard, almond milk, walnuts, soy yogurt, frozen mangoes, and orange mango carrot juice.

Over the last several weeks/months, we have seen our share of Nazi/WWII movies. I don't know why. I didn't pick them out, but here I am reviewing them. All three are based on true events, if somewhat loosely, and/or real people. I thought all three were well-done and acted. I'm not a big war movie fan, but I recommend all three. I would think they would all be somewhat okay for older children. They are not overly intense or gory, but more thoughtful and tragic with a touch of hope.

The Pianist
A Polish pianist who finds himself in war torn Poland in the middle of the Warsaw Ghetto. This was probably the hardest of the three for me to watch. The pianist tries to stay human and alive while all around him is inhumanity and death. He endures so much and survives. He is betrayed by those who are supposed to help him and helped by one is who supposed to destroy him. He loses everything, but maintains that in himself which no one can take away. I personally haven't spent a lot of time learning about the Warsaw Ghetto and this movie made me want to read more.

The Counterfeiters
A complex cast of characters in a concentration camp who are tasked by the Nazis to counterfeit the British and American currency. They have it easier in the camp than the others which makes for guilt and a feeling that they have some power to possibly keep the Nazis from continuing their reign of terror. The main character, the amazing artist who eventually is able to replicate the dollar, is a survivalist and looks out for himself, but he finds himself becoming loyal to his fellow prisoners which could lead to his own execution.

Saints and Soldiers
A few soldiers who survive the Malmedy massacre find themselves having to work together to stay alive and try to make their way 20 miles back to the Allied forces. Things get even more complicated when they find a British soldier with important information. Just staying alive turns into getting this information to the Allied forces in time. Again, there is a subtext of compassion to the enemy and humanity in the face of war.

One thing related to food (since this is a vegan blog after all), which also is related to these movies because in all three there were issues with lack of food and in one, very near starvation, is the amount of food we as Americans have access to on a daily basis. It is amazing and I can't help but think that this is a unique time we are living in right now where the amount and variety of relatively cheap food (even as food prices have risen...we as Americans still spend a smaller percentage of our income on food than most of the people in the world) is like no other time and place in history. We as a family are trying to be more grateful, thankful, and thoughtful about the food we consume. I see this trend expanding as more and more people are growing their own food, buying food from local sources, and just thinking more about their food choices. It makes me slightly optimistic about our future on this small little planet. It also helps that even mainstream news is finally catching on that going veg is one of the biggest ways a person can help the environment.

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