Monday, January 09, 2006

Ubuntu and Forgiveness

PSA: Is everybody (other than me) aware that the cost to mail a first class letter in the U.S. went up to 39 cents yesterday? How did I miss all news of this?

The weekend was my usual insane mess of stuff. Friday my friend SK came over to help me with the knitting I needed to do before the Finishing Class on Saturday morning. Now this Finishing Class was supposed to teach me how to put the pieces of a sweater together, essentially. I say "was" because after spending Thursday and Friday knitting tiny little sweater pieces (back, RH front, LH front and two sleeves), I woke up Saturday morning to icy roads. I listened to the traffic report while in the shower and I was planning on going because all freeways listed as closed due to accidents were not ones I had to drive. Then a woman reporter got on and said she was driving on I-696 and within the space of half a mile there were four spin out accidents and another one happened just in front of her. Now if I lived a mile or two away I would have gone, but driving 15-20 miles on icy roads when the State Police were recommending staying home unless you absolutely had to go out, I decided to listen, as I didn't ABSOLUTELY HAVE to go out. I was actually bummed because I had done the knitting and I thought it would be good to know what I'm doing when I finally make myself that sweater I bought yarn for a year ago.

Of course, before SK came over, I had to clean the house. She said I didn't, but I did. I even vacuumed!!! (I hate and despise vacuuming and really really wish someone would invent a silent vacuum – which is still affordable.) I stayed up late finishing up the two lousy sleeves because I kept forgetting to switch from the smaller needles to the larger needles after finishing the ribbing. I was getting seriously annoyed with myself.

After determining that I was not leaving the house Saturday morning I laid back down on my bed and just veged with my eyes closed – half-dozing – until 10:30. I should have gone to yoga, but by the time I remembered, it was too late. I watched two movies on Saturday. One I highly highly highly recommend. The other I do not, unless you like bad acting in action movies. You know it's bad when the second best English-speaking actor in the movie is killed within the first 10-15 minutes. Yeah, I know you wrote the script, but with your acting ability, you should have killed yourself off. It was unbelievably awful. Oh yeah, it was called Moscow Heat. It's not even listed at! How desperate was Michael York to do that movie??? The reason I had it on my list? Adrian Paul. He had made the decision to end Highlander: The Series because he thought he was a star and wanted to make movies. I have rented a number of his movies and it's apparent why he's gone back to make more Highlander movies. He's a good actor, but he's not getting offered very good roles.

The other movie I watched I had chosen because of a post made by Scott last week. I checked In My Country out on Netflix and saw that Samuel L. Jackson and Juliette Binoche were in it and that it sounded truly interesting. It was an amazing movie. I've been telling everybody for the past two days that they should see it. As soon as it was over (along with all the special features), I took it downstairs and knocked on Ursamajor's door and told her that she had to watch it. OOMA and TheGirl were playing loud, shoot-em up video games (which was how I knew they were home), so Ursa was planning on watching it right then.

It was about The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa after apartheid was deemed illegal. The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) was set up by the Government of National Unity to help deal with what happened under apartheid. The conflict during this period resulted in violence and human rights abuses from all sides. No section of society escaped these abuses.

It was all about forgiveness, and not vengeance or revenge. Victims were encouraged to come forward when the Commission traveled to their town and confront the perpetrators of the crimes against them. And as long as the perpetrators told the full truth and could establish the order came from above, they were forgiven and would not be charged. The movie shared the most incredible stories from the hundreds and hundreds hours of tapes made. The people at the top, I believe, were tried, but as that was not the gist of this story that was only alluded to.

I don't think I'm doing an adequate job explaining why I think everybody should see this movie. But I do. I was floored by the idea that these people honestly believed in the healing power of forgiveness and didn't just give lip service to it. They lived it. There's a South African word (Afrikaans?) "ubuntu" which means essentially that we are all connected. What I do to harm somebody doesn't just harm that person, it harms their sister and mother, etc., but it also harms me. It was explained so much more beautifully in the movie, but I hope it made some sense.

The movie was based on the book Country of My Skull by Antje Krog (Here's a piece written by her on the TRC which was a little easier to deal with than the above link.) and although some critics ( gave this movie absolutely horrendous reviews) think that the subject might have been better served by a documentary, the truth of the matter is that it'll probably reach more people as a story than a raw documentary. Although I enjoy documentaries, I would say that the majority of people in this country aren't going to go out of their way to see one. And I agree with the producers that this story was too important to stay hidden.

Tomorrow I'll tell you all about the DSO and Mahler's Symphony #5.


At Monday, 09 January, 2006, Anonymous Smed said...

It's all about cash money for some people. Larry Olivier made some pretty heinous movies near the end of his career.

At Monday, 09 January, 2006, Blogger Jason said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Monday, 09 January, 2006, Blogger Jason said...

Where have you been? I've known about the stamp price increase for months now. ;) I look forward to Netflixing your recommendation.

At Tuesday, 10 January, 2006, Blogger Cristina said...

I never heard a word about the stamp increase either...and our postal carrier failed to pick up our rent check Saturday, so I had to add postage to it....


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