Saturday, January 06, 2007


Quite a few people liked Apocalypto after all, which I think justifies my growing desire to see it!

Among them, one critic made the interesting point that Mel Gibson always makes movies about cultures/civilizations on the brink of extinction. Which I think is a pretty neat theme to tackle from a movie vantage point. Some days I wish I was a film student...

Anyhow, it seems that directors who repeatedly make movies with similar themes are called auteurs. (And the fact that 'auteur' was a word I didn't know again leads my mind on another dumb tangent of wondering how large my vocabulary is supposed to be by now and whether I'm ahead or behind... )

Of course, as it goes with the Net, one link leads to another and soon I was reading about Leni Riefenstahl who created documentary propaganda films for the Nazis and is still renowned as a director despite the extremely controversial nature of her work. At one point, she was accused of using concentration camp inmates - who some claim were later killed - on her sets. She was brought to trial in France but professed her innocence and naivety and, ultimately, the accusations against her didn't stand up in court.

I'm not exactly sure how anyone in such close contact with Hitler could convincingly profess their innocence in not knowing that the Nazis were up to something that was purely evil or at the very least, not good. Especially this coming from a woman who sent Hitler the telegram:
"Your deeds exceed the power of human imagination. They are without equal in the history of mankind. How can we ever thank you?"
The Wiki article concludes that "Riefenstahl suffered from a deep denial of her actual culpability, to the point that she even began to believe her own lies regarding her innocence."

I find that extremely disturbing - the points to which we can go in deceiving ourselves, I mean. It seems like self-deception should be a contradiction in terms and therefore impossible.

I think I'd have to argue that in almost every case (except perhaps cases of extreme mental... illness? but maybe not even then), an individual always knows what they are doing and always knows their own motives. Whether they'll acknowledge that they do is another story, but that doesn't change the fact that the worst should always be assumed.


Now for something that made me laugh, check this out.

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