I shifted in my seat uncomfortably. Wiped my tears, raged to keep my body firm, not crippling in pain.

It was a bad movie. The kind of experience that aims for dumbstruck but leaves you numbstruck instead. Throughout the whole 1.5 hours, I considered leaving. “You have to give it a chance, love,” I told myself and continued watching, blinking a tear away. “What if the ending makes it the best movie of your life?”

The ending didn’t. The screen went black and the cast names appeared, sealing off the all too well known fate of the Jews.

I hate movies that shamelessly tug at your heartstrings. That use a terrible reality, a shameful part of history, manipulate it, and make money off the public’s distraught exhaustion. It was just like that other doozie a few years ago The Passion of the Christ. Yes, we know what happened to Jesus; it’s a personal matter that doesn’t need to be visually spelled out. Nor disrespected by some greedy bastard who’s discovered a way to capitalize off it.

Just like that, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas killed off a young German boy who confused a concentration camp for a farm. Made friends with a Jewish 8-year-old across the fence, brought his new pal chocolate and sandwiches when he remembered, and played hours of checkers with him. When the Jewish boy lost his dad in the camp, the German boy decided to dig under the fence and help him find him. They didn’t have enough time, though, because suddenly they were all rushed off for a “shower.”

The boys squeezed hands before the screen went black.

Inventive? Not so much. Bastard directors. I know what this is: Cheap tricks to cover up an age-old theme. What’s cheaper and cuter than seeing the horror from the precious eyes of an innocent child? Who (oh, my God, how clever!) digs under the fence!!! My, oh, my, why hadn’t anyone else thought of digging before…

You want a good holocaust movie? Take a look at Life Is Beautiful. That’s a wonderful movie, poignant, entertaining, presenting what happened and flawlessly touting the human spirit for its beauty and resilience. That movie has a point and a unique angle.

I used to have concentration camp dreams. Traumatizing, bloody scenes. I don’t have them anymore, because I’ve worked through my own terrors. I’m calm now. Calm enough to use my own imagination when I need to dig up the horror of the overtaught, over-reminded holocaust.

A message for the directors: We know what happened.  Respect it and just let it rest, will you?


About tali2

I am a recent grad of the wonderful English major. Though I don't regret studying English one bit, I realize why my teachers, parents, friends, and imaginary mentors warned me against it: Because it leads you nowhere. But it did give me great writing skills which I hope to continue honing in this blog as I chronicle the tribulations of the terrible job hunt in the terrible job market of NYC. And I hope that my blog reminds fellow unemployed recent grads that you are not alone, inspires some hope within us, while presenting a snapshot of our lives to others who do not share the same self-imposed troubles.
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6 Responses to Horror

  1. abby says:

    i’ve been reading your blog for a few days now; i stumbled on to it quite accidentally. have you seen schindler’s list? i am sorry that you sat through a movie you hated, when i see one that i can’t bear i just wander to the next theater over. maybe madagascar 2 would be playing, maybe highschool musical 3. but then again, this movie did touch you, did make you feel things that will be meaningful to you in a few days weeks or maybe even years. and if you still remember this movie years from now, how you felt when you watched it, even if you still hate it then, you’ve got to consider that 9 dollars well spent.

    • tali2 says:

      Hey abby, thanks for reading my blog 🙂 The movie unfortunately touched me in all the wrong ways, and I doubt I’ll think much about it in the future. Maybe for someone who’s never seen a holocaust movie before, this might have been good. But I’ve seen many — even Schindler’s list — and I feel that they all are much better movies. Maybe I should have followed your advice and walked on over to a comedy 😉

  2. abby says:

    ps- your posts often come after 3am, get some sleep!

    • tali2 says:

      Haha, actually I think the clock on the blog is wrong. I usually write at about midnight! 😀 Though inspiration also comes very easily at 3 😉

  3. Chris says:

    I’ve read the book but havent had a chance to watch the movie, if the movie is as bad as he says it is i’d rather just not watch it at all.The book enough was sad,other then that i enjoyed reading the book.I would like to see schindlers list.

  4. americabutterscotch says:

    I’ve read the book but I haven’t watched the film. I’ve also seen Schindler’s List and Roman Polanski’s The Pianist and I found the approach of this book quite original because it’s a completely different and new as a way to describe that period. I didn’t like the end though, which I think it’s kind of hasty (the end of the book I mean).
    I guess it’s not good to make money from “what happened” but I think it’s good that it’s still remembered, so we won’t forget and won’t allow it to happen any more. I’m sorry that the film caused you so much trouble… Hope you’re better now.

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