Search and You Shall Find in My World

16 March 2009

The Reader: A viewer's dilemma

We went to Colon yesterday and tried to explore the area when we saw this building full of pirated DVDs. We went in and bought The Reader. I am guilty of piracy, so sue me.

Anyways, before I get sued, I have to see this one. But I could never be a movie critic! Defining a movie by its elements like theme, narrative structure, cinematography, etc. is a very complicated job for me. So this is not a movie review!

The movie showed our biases and how cruel it could get. That's the case with The Reader.

Everyone of the accused guards pointed out Hanna Schmitz as the main culprit in the killing of 300 Jews and including documenting about what happened in Auschwitz. Hanna, maybe ashamed to admit of the fact that she could neither read nor write, admitted she did the writing. Michael Berg, Hanna's lover, not telling the court Hannah could not read and write. Berg, despite having a guilty conscience, could not even comfort Hanna who is supposed to be given freedom after years of penitentiary service. The child of the lone survivor during Hanna's term as SS guard still understandably bitter despite Hanna's act of reconciliation but kept the tea tin for herself (forgiving Hanna in a way?). All these made the movie truly remarkable and a must-see.

I was truly aghast at the scene when Hanna was told she was promoted from being a ticket inspector to an administrative job in the office. Being an illiterate, the chaotic trains added to her rather shocked face upon knowing the promotion. Damn! The director was genius. 

Aside from the fact that this is a good story (the film was based on a novel by some Schlink or something), one can adore the excellent shots of naked women making love. Just lovely.

According to one friend, this is a movie about the Holocaust but without the Holocaust.

Go and see why Kate Winslet deserved the Oscars.

Picture from

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