Dec 28, 2006

I watched most of the Underground, not for the first time, with a certain sense of artistic appreciation and intellectual removal. The beauty, madness, fantastic soundtrack, romance. Etc. A long and exhaustic parable of political unrest. And I remembered the first time I saw it and how endless it was and when is this going to end? Why wont the story end? ANOTHER chapter. It's not until the end, when an actor, unburdened by the affectations of his character: stuttering, neurosis, displaced parental intensity, turns and calmly speaks to the camera of the history, love , the pride and investment Yugoslavians have invested in their country, that I swear, no really, I almost burst into tears. And you realize: thats the point: it doesn't, doesn't, doesn't end. it's history, and it unfolds, sometimes in slow gestation, sometimes like an atom bomb.
It's not like a love story or some tragic tale of child death or something. It's easy to sympathize and identify with such personal tragedy. It's harder to get someone emotional about the loss of national identity, about war on a grand scale, about politics. About politics.
I think of this when people say they aren't political. I think of this when people say they don't care about or "get" politics. Politics isn't some game of risk you play or about this congressman or that. It's about the care and love and necessary belief in one's own land and community that people feel and the steps, sometimes misguided, they make to shape it in their greatest image. It's about some big crazy extended family. It's about tending the garden. With care. These are your babies. That's your wife. You have to care. It's how you live and it's who you are.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

ahhhhhh Underground. I liked the parts I didn't sleep through. no really, I did! It just wasn't what I expected at all, given the other films by EK that I'd seen. Of course, now I've seen "when father was away on business" and I can see how Underground is actually 1/2 way between it his crazy gypsy movies. My question is: why can't we all have a brass band to follow us around? hmmm?

rif said...

I love that movie. I'm especially a sucker for when they come out and wander through the making of their lives movie. Oh and that music!