Monday, November 16, 2015

Bridging Eras

     On Saturday we went to see one of those movies that hang in your mind for a while.
It was the brilliant Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks. As I was raking leaves on Sunday, his face would flash across my mind. There were a lot of close-ups of him throughout the movie. Close-ups are not kind to Hanks, whose face is beginning to approach the lines of a basset hound. But what a decent, solid sort of basset hound. You just knew looking at it that this character would always choose the morally honest path, whether it was convenient or not. 

          I don’t know if I was more receptive after Friday’s events in Paris, but the movie illuminated the Cold War and the anticipatory dread in the U.S. at that time. At the time duck and cover was just part of my school week, being herded into the hallway between my elementary school and the junior high next door, and kneeling down, my head against the beige subway tiles of the wall. I imagine my father had a bigger picture, working as an analyst in the Soviet section of a government agency. 

          There was no visible enemy, but America felt its presence anyway. Who knew what might happen next? 

          The movie also shows the early days of the Berlin wall, and we experience the oppression of a police state along with Hanks’ character, providing validation for all the Commie-hunting paranoia back home. But it was also a cautionary tale about xenophobia, and a warning about an eagerness to impose our values on others, regardless of the cost. 



  1. I loved this movie and immediately went online to find out how accurate it was. Very much so. The only part that didn't happen as portrayed was the young people trying to cross the Wall at night when Donovan witnessed them being shot. As far as I can tell, everything else was completely as it happened. Hanks is definitely going to get another nomination for this one. :-)

  2. I think of the Berlin Wall or the wall Israel has built every time Trump says he is going to build a wall between us and Mexico and wonder why no one sees the similarity. we would be keeping people out instead of in but the end result is the same...oppression, misery, and death for anyone who tries to go over. we are becoming that which we despise.

  3. It looks like a very powerful movie and I want to thank you for this review as I have been seriously thinking of going to it. I grew up on stories of the Berlin Wall. I remember the joy in Germany and all the celebrations when it was taken down.

  4. It's one of those movies that hindsight adds much meaning. We can also think ahead as to what to do and what not to do.

  5. I'm looking forward to seeing this movie. I like the fact that Tom Hanks is aging naturally (-ish) and, like Meryl Streep, still finding major roles.

  6. The movie walked a very careful line not making people animals...although later they certainly were. I have been reading a number of popular novels abut WWII recently and sort of drenched in that time.

  7. "a warning about an eagerness to impose our values on others, regardless of the cost."
    Perhaps all those Islamic Terrorists should be made to watch it.
    It's on my list of movies to see, and it's at my local cinema right now, but I'll wait for the dvd.


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