171 Comments
Jan 20Liked by Steven Beschloss

We lived in Germany for a few years. Wanted to see a camp, so drove by Dachau. It’s a beautiful little artsy village. You walk by some nice shops, turn a corner, and there is a death camp. Unbelievable. Right there.

Nikki Haley would have fit right in. Slavery didn’t cause Civil War. America isn’t a racist country. Just don’t turn the corner Nikki.

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I also visited Munich and Dachau. I was struck by homes that abut the camp. And they claim they had no idea what was happening there.

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Jan 20Liked by Steven Beschloss

People can’t see what they don’t want to see. Today’s GOP and 1930’s Germany are shockingly similar. Jamie Dimon….normalizing Trump. The Emperor has no clothes and they keep marching along.

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What? Quite the contrary, the woke movement is in latter evolution of marxist movement. Democrats, to be exact.

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The day will come when you realize almost everything you’ve been lead to believe was a stack of lies. It will be a tough day. But you will survive.

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Jan 20Liked by Steven Beschloss

Bullroar! They absolutely HAD to know!!

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The odor. The ashes. The willful ignorance.

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Have you seen Anatomy of a Fall yet? On my short list,

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my Dachau story is instructive. I visited about 14 years ago. In the tour group were a couple of what can only be called "Valley Girls." They giggled and bounced and told jokes that just skirted Holocaust denial.

As we went through, they got more and more subdued. It isn't just the barracks that horrify. By the end, they walked back to the train, heads down, slumped, barely talking. I think reality flung in your face hits hardest when you don't really believe at first that the reality was all that awful.

I keep wondering if, during the trump era of child incarcerations, what would have happened had those praising him actually VISITED trump's doing. I suspect many might have changed their minds, though if in the cult they'd never admit it to themselves and, if a trump political enabler, would never admit it to the public.

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Yes. This is the exact reason why the Allies made German citizens visit and clean up concentration camp remains after their liberations.

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Obama started the child separation, do your research.

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OK, I did my research. Ball in your court

https://www.npr.org/2019/04/09/711446917/fact-check-trump-wrongly-states-obama-administration-had-child-separation-policy

As I recall, Obama had to deal with a surge of unaccompanied minors. Not the same thing.

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Jan 20Liked by Steven Beschloss

Saving Private Ryan gave such a graphic view of storming the beaches of Normandy I never forgot it. Schindler's list, too. Some good films I am unable to watch because they are so distressing to me. Things about Ruanda, Cambodia, and Vietnam make me so sick. I know that's cowardly since so many had to live through these events. Oh, Sophie's Choice, also.

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Sophie’s Choice. So true. And I totally get your point about those other topics.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54yxUGKfb9g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cqn6UYx4SCY

Abigail Adams FLOTUS gets vaxxed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFtKkj4sTZQ

Quincy Adams sent to Russia at 14years

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXcpIprW7eQ

each congress has their price as they vote against us

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHkK1CEd5o4

science finds viewing suffering produces oxytocin(did it switch Schindler from greedy Nazi to Nazi saboteur?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbKGKzObsGc

Wag the Dog

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lK-26i68CI

Idiocracy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxHoJjIEIUU

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That was profoundly shocking, I've never forgotten it!!!

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The HBO- Tom Hanks series “Band of Brothers” did an excellent episode on the concentration camps. One of the main characters, Nix, an alcoholic (but highly functioning one), breaks into a German home searching for whiskey. The home is clearly owned by a wealthy family and the owner, an older woman, stares Nix down and leaves him feeling ashamed for breaking and entering her home. Later, Easy Company stumbles across a concentration camp outside of town and are horrified by what they find. The US Battalion commander orders that the towns people be rounded up, brought to the camp, and forced to work to bury the bodies of the murdered. The episode ends as Nix spots the homeowner, dressed in nice clothes, but standing in a pile of rotting corpses, stumbling over them as she works to move bodies to a mass grave. Nix and the woman lock eyes- they recognize each other, but now she is the one who feels shame. That episode and the way the two actors conveyed the feeling of shame with just their eyes, has stuck with me. The producers of that series did a lot in a one hour episode and with great writing and acting.

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I was emotionally braced for Saving Private Ryan. My mother told me the story about that family growing up. I too avoid some other war horror movies, just to save myself the mental toll.

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Dunkirk (2017)

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Excellent choices!

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Jan 20Liked by Steven Beschloss

Wow! The Zone of interest has gotten under my skin just from reading your description of it.

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Jan 20Liked by Steven Beschloss

The movie Philomena broke my heart and I can’t watch it again. The way those heartless nuns snatched babies away from their mothers and sold them was just horrific.

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Jan 20Liked by Steven Beschloss

Same topic: The Boy In the Striped Pajamas.

Have never forgotten it. Another: WW 2 Sci-Fi: The Final Countdown

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Me too, Tom! I saw it once and once was enough. Tore my heart out.

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Jan 20Liked by Steven Beschloss

I’m white but “Roots” has stayed with me. Man’s inhumanity to man is appalling. I also busted Auschwitz and Dachau, then saw Schindler’s list many decades later. I could barely watch it after visiting the actual camps. I fear that with the banning of books and movies, students won’t see the inhumanity as real.

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Which is precisely the point of banning books and revising history. Along with “dehumanizing” humans. Man’s inhumanity to man is beyond comprehension, and it’s perpetrated usually for the “benefit” of the few in psychopathic pursuit of power/resources. Only those few can never do it alone. Enablers are Always groomed to support their evil masters agenda.

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Sing it, Sister! I agree totally, Laura!

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“Busted” is “visited”!

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deletedJan 20Liked by Steven Beschloss
Comment deleted
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Yes to both!

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Jan 20Liked by Steven Beschloss

I am not even sure I would have the courage to watch the Zone, I admire you Steven.

My French father was arrested by the Gestapo in 1943 for giving wrong financial numbers of a small national bank he was in charge, to the Nazis. he was deported after 3 nights in a wagon to Buchenwald, later moved to an Austrian camp but was freed by the Americans. But of course Schindler's List and Sophie's Choice really got under my skin.

It is so incredible to see what is happening here with DJT, and the very true menace of Fascism.

I would say Erin Brokovitch was a major movie for me too as to the power of a few single persons

determination.

I am not a fan of Oliver Stone but I did find his movie on JFK moving as it showed the opacity of corruption. Mostly it led me to read later on in 2008 the incredible book by James Douglas, JFK and the Unspeakable. So extraordinary.

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Erin Brokovitch is a favorite that I rewatch regularly, because of its positive outcome in the face of corporate unaccountability. We should all be that effective.

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Your Trump comments are appalling and so untrue. You have got to do your own research and not listen to MSM or read it.

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Feb 3·edited Feb 3

Vicki, I respect your views.

Now here is one man I follow for my research, his name is Judge Luttig and he is a conservative Judge, here are his words, about an amicus brief to the Supreme Court

Thank you, Professor Laurence H. Tribe

@tribelaw

. There is no one from whom I would have rather wanted to hear these words. I, too, am proud of my colleagues for joining this brief. Unlike others, they have honorably refused to cower before Politics and the Constitution.

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Feb 3·edited Feb 3

Judge Luttig considers the former president as a danger to the nation and democracy. he is a conservative and always has been.

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The Deer Hunter, specifically the Russian roulette scene.

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I also wanted to say “Au Revoir Les Enfantes” but I couldn’t remember the title of the film when I wrote my other comment!

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I was going to say “The Deer Hunter” and “The Killing Fields”.

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The Killing Fields has never left me and I saw it in the theater the year it was released, then on tv later, despite its being so desperately difficult to watch. I wish everyone would watch it, it might make a difference.

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I watched Sophie’s Choice a couple weeks ago. I hadn’t watched it in probably 35 years. I cried watching Meryl Streep describing her memories to Stingo.

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I could hardly breathe in the scene where she chose between her son and daughter, it has affected me forever.

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Jan 20Liked by Steven Beschloss

I read a preview of "The Zone of Interest" in my local paper, and I understood in my mind that it is very likely an excellent and important film for our time. But, at the same time, in my heart and everywhere else, I knew I would never, ever see this film. I have no emotional barriers left for this topic. It is far too painful to see the connection to current times. So thank you for this reflection about it. I agree that the film "Philomena" was heart breaking. And "Erin Brokovich" is still a film I think about as the topic of chemical and metal pollution is still rampant. And often, in real life, it is just an alert physician or technician or community member who alerts the rest of us when there are unusual deaths or illnesses in a community with no known cause - and then that person has to fight the hierarchy to prevent and protect the rest of us.

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Imitation of life -the 1959 version; I was a child when I watched it, and it was the first time I remember beginning to understand the inequities of race and gender.

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Omg we watched it whenever it was on. My mother and we all cried each time. Raised my consciousness forever.

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Yes, lots of crying, but I haven't been able to bring myself to watch it in years.

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Oh yes. Forgot to add that in my comment.

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Same here. omg... it stays with me.

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My husband would say both “Coming Home “and “Apocalypse” got to him because he’s a Vietnam Vet. Many years ago, it was a requirement to read “The Diary of Anne Frank” in high school. We had enrichment films to go along with what we were reading. Those films were held in our small town theater. I was the only Jewish kid in school. Plus, both my parents were Holocaust victims. After the movie was over, friends wanted to go hangout but I wanted to go home. I walked in the door of my house and burst into tears while hugging my mom. See, she never allowed my sister and I to watch that movie on our small tv set when it came on. My parents tried to shield us from the atrocities. I had a different perspective of my parents after that. .

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Steven,

I have not yet seen Zone of Interest but I will. It actually sounds terrifying. I know much about Höss and Auschwitz, including how he lived. The black and whit pictures of him and his staff enjoying life at his house are shocking enough, but I digress.

The film that really gets under my skin is Conspiracy starring Keneth Branagh, and Stanley Tucci in a dramatic presentation of the Wannsee Conference. Set in a lakeside mansion in the suburbs of Berlin, Branagh playing SS General Reinhardt Heydrich, and Tucci as Adolf Eichmann meeting with 13 mid-level Nazi leaders to discuss the implementation of the Final Solution, it is without violence, you never see the victims, just 15 men debating it in a business meeting that lasted only about an hour and a half, which is about the length of of film. As I listen to their plans and comments about the Jews I am reminded of Trump and so many of his acolytes discussing punishing opponents, mass deportation, and the use of the military to crush opposition, while their followers are prepared to carry out their orders. When I first saw it I could never imagine it happening here, the came Trump.

Thank you again Steven, all the best and stay safe.

Steven Dundas

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Children of Men. Minority Report. Brilliant prophetic productions in which violence is never glorified and women are never objectified. The Pelican Brief and many other John Grisham films, Rainmaker among them, about the court system., like Runaway Jury. China Syndrome and Silkwood.

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Children of Men was excellent.

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Jan 20Liked by Steven Beschloss

It's been decades, but Day Of The Locust with Donald Sutherland.

Even Chinatown.

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Rustin. Bayard Rustin was a hero of the Civil Rights movement. Belittled by friend and foe, he continued his brilliant organizing for a cause for which he was willing to give his life. Netflix.

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I just watched this on Monday night! Yes it was quite good and I had not heard of him prior to watching it. The line “god made me black the same day he made me homosexual” really struck me. Great performances all around.

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - I saw it years ago and I am not over it. Same premise, a family living outside and off of a concentration camp. I hoped the boy would bring them back to the horror of their reality, and then he died. The world is evil and everything dies.

I grew up educated about the horrors of WWII by my mother who lost her elder brother at Leyte. But movies bring home intimate, searing details of people I would not otherwise know. I didn’t need that lesson in my life and now I can’t forget it.

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I cannot watch these films. As I watched Schindler's List, I could actually feel my heart breaking while I was sobbing. It felt like I was there. And now I can't shake the feeling of inevitability staring us in the face. So, it is reality that's getting under my skin because we are in a horror movie right now.

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I am tearing up reading your post because it’s all true. I feel we are closer to repeating our horrors than we’ve ever been 😢

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😢 We are in terrifying times and half of the country either doesn't understand the gravity of the situation, or they don't care. And there's the third group who are welcoming the chaos.

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I couldn’t watch “Schindler’s List” either Cheryl.

I tried, but I couldn’t stop sobbing. I did manage to watch “Sophie’s Choice,” but the horror of her having to make the choice-once I understood what

it was-has stayed with me to this day.

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Jan 20Liked by Steven Beschloss

2 television limited series really got under my skin and sadly never got widespread recognition that I felt they deserved.

Colton Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad on Amazon 2021 was incredible! It really put you right there and was brutal to watch.

And the other was Les Misérables on Masterpiece in 2018 with lily colins and Dominic west. The scene where she sells her teeth still haunts me!!!

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The television version of The Underground Railroad was brilliant—and tough to watch.

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I think it would have done better if it was released weekly like a serial rather than all the episodes at once. It is not a show that you can binge. In fact you need a break between episodes to digest. Amazon should have definitely marketed it more because it was amazing.

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My introduction as a teen to what is meant by The Holocaust was the movie, The Pawnbroker. I have never forgotten it 60 years later. Rod Steiger was the pawnbroker.

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Jan 20Liked by Steven Beschloss

Afire. Petzold’s latest. All his films are so powerfully moving. This is splendid.

The Painter and the Thief. Surprising and riveting.

She Came to Me. Unexpectedly interesting and fun.

All three about creating art.

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Interesting. Don’t know these.

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I figured. You should watch ALL of his films. Barbara, and especially Phoenix. You can buy me lunch sometime.

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Jan 21Liked by Steven Beschloss

Children of Men - the depiction of the dystopian treatment of immigrants, along with the prevalence of violence and war seemed too prescient of what’s happening in the world today. Eyes in the Sky about the moral impact of drone strikes on the drone operators and the disposability of people as collateral damage.

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The widely lauded “Life is Beautiful” was so horrific and inspiring at the same time. The father’s love for his son inspired him to create a fantasy-world where the boy could escape the surrounding brutality. The dignity and humanity displayed in this Oscar-winning foreign film moved my whole family to cry with broken hearts.

I grew up across the street from a lovely German couple. When I was in grade school, they talked about the beautiful German countryside and the thriving culture before the Nazi’s. They made their own wine and had several ornately carved pieces of furniture that had been smuggled out of Germany. I was always so fascinated by their Old World customs.

When Mr. Shultz grew old and feeble and I was old enough to understand he sat me down and he shared many things he witnessed before escaping to become a Merchant Marine. As he moved into dementia, I would watch him for his wife. He would relive events from the war including throwing pine cones like grenades. I realized then, how damaging life was as a young man.

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The Mission is another movie in which unspeakable horrors and sublime beauty are juxtaposed. In a letter to his Holiness, Altamirano expresses his grief and remorse after carrying out the papal order to destroy the Jesuit mission to the Guarani. The ensuing slaughter serves the powerful and greedy institutions of their day. But Altamirano points out an important truth that the perpetrators are in fact spiritually dead, while the ideals of the slain innocents live on. The movie’s hauntingly beautiful musical theme captures both heartbreak and hope. Powerful message for our times.

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Ellen, this is my pick as well. This movie profoundly touched my heart. The redemption scene with the journey at the top of the falls has stayed with me. And the ending is just haunting

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Deniers then. A Denier now. What does it take for people to finally, really know, understand, what is happening and STOP him, to not allow this to occur, to not destroy our Republic/democracy?

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The movie On The Beach. It is the story of those people in the southern hemisphere, who know that the northern hemisphere has been destroyed by an atomic bomb, and that the poison in the air will reach them and destroy them as well

We see in this movie how different people react to this and also there is morse code signal coming from the north …life may may still be going on in the northern atmosphere and a search party goes to see what is sending out messages from this decimated area

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Hard to watch, but love that heartbreaking film.

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I read the book when I was in high school and that gave me nightmares. I had no desire to see the movie.

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Conspiracy (2001) about the Wannsee conference of 1942 in which the Nazi department heads had to all get on the same page and agree to willfully participate in The Final Solution for the Jews. It’s a very simple and chilling film. Stanley Tucci played Eichmann, I believe.

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Jan 20Liked by Steven Beschloss

Night and Fog. Saw it in 8th grade history class. It will never stop haunting me.

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Last night I watched Leave the World Behind, starring Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke, produced by Michelle and Barack Obama. Kevin Bacon has a short scene where he delivers the message of the film. The world will not be destroyed by any one man or one group of evildoers, but by division and chaos. This hit home with me. I look back at Newt Gingrich, Steve Bannon, Rush Limbaugh, Trump and others, and I see “divide and conquer.”

Unregulated capitalism has given us the most inequity since the time of serfs, and led by divisive messages from politicians and pastors, we have crumbled in unmeasurable ways.

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I saw this Netflix film recently and haunts me every day. I’d add Putin to the list of destroyers...but I digress. Couple weekends back internet randomly down long time text says “Network Damage” - unable to reach a human. Day later automobile dead as a doornail-FOB doesn’t unlock it. New battery and computer dash panels die. Creepy how dependent on technology and vulnerable I feel. Following weekend prolonged winter ice storm ultimately no electricity. All electric condo. Back up phone battery packs helped but no heat source in well below freezing temperatures. We’ve weathered more climate generated disasters in the past 8 years in this temperate region I’ve always resided in, than during my entire 69 years of life. The threats to our power grids are real both from climate AND by bad actors. “Survivor” never how I imagined retirement would go down...trying to change this trajectory we are on feels bit like turning the Titanic. Yet we must keep on trying.

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Books get in my head and linger. I recommend “A Fever in the Heartland” by historian Timothy Egan. Egan who describes how a charismatic grifter, D.C.Stephenson, wanders into Indiana in the 1920’s and in a few short years easily builds the KKK into marches 20,000 strong, all wearing the required “official” hoods and robes that he gets a percentage of. Meanwhile he’s lining up judges, law enforcement, and ministers on his way to running for President. Sound familiar?

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I cannot see what is happening to the Palestinians as anything but genocide. Meanwhile lufe goes on for others.

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Thank you Jade. Everybody wants to talk about anything other than the genocide that is happening in real time right before our very eyes. It's unnerving. People that I have followed for years on social media are either silent or go out of their way to continue to blame Hamas for the genocide. As if thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of children Had It Coming To Them! Thank God for new people I have found (quite a few here on substack) otherwise, I would be certain I am going fucking crazy.

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The 1983 movie titled Testament. It is just another day in the small town of Hamlin until something disastrous happens. Suddenly, news breaks that a series of nuclear warheads has been dropped along the Eastern Seaboard and, more locally, in California. As people begin coping with the devastating aftermath of the attacks -- many suffer radiation poisoning -- the Wetherly family tries to survive. Led by mom Carol (Jane Alexander), the clan tries to support each other even as they take in other stranded survivors.

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I had been thinking about this powerful film for some time but I couldn’t remember the title. Thanks for solving my problem. No to see if I can find it streaming somewhere. I recommend this film qlso

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The book, “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Read it several years into #45’s term. There were already too many similarities. Now with Roe v. Wade reversed, punishments for people assisting someone seeking an abortion, national abortion bans being discussed, book bans, diversity being attacked, etc. there are far more similarities. Margaret Atwood’s statement that everything she included in the book had actually occurred somewhere and sometime in the world freaks me out even more.

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Agree. Way too dystopian AND prescient.

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"Spotlight". And "All the President's Men". Both describe how the legitimate Press, our Fourth Estate, can ignore blatant, in-your-face, scandals for years. Scandals that are so pervasive in the public consciousness that the professional editors and journalists think they aren't "news". "Priests abusing children. Not a story." "A criminal, lying, unfit President (Nixon), approving dirty tricks/crimes on his opponents and then actively covering them up. Not a story." Until some intrepid journalists and editors "broke" these stories.

Today we have a former President of the United States of America, who created and approved a takeover of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government, and conspired with 147 elected members of the Senate and House of Representatives to violate election laws. Failed coup. The former President claimed, without evidence or reason, that the election was stolen (an obvious Big Con Game). And that his self-admitted, violation of his oath to the Constitution of the United States of America was justified. Now he's running for re-election to the office he tried to steal, using lies and deception. Obvious to everyone that he is unfit to ever hold public office again. What say the legitimate Press today? "Not a story."

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This will make a good movie in a decade or two. Our grandchildren will be amazed at how 35 million grownups were fooled by Don the Con for so long.

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Schindler’s List

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Das Boot made me empathize with the plight of the German U-Boat crew.

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A film that got into my head was Bladerunner 2040 (?) The depiction of a treeless landscape and lives lived by people both real and artificial was haunting. They did not depict drought or sea level rise but we can only imagine that.

We are living blithely along ignoring what may well be coming.

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Giant. Saw it the first time at the movies as a young Mexican kid and watch it whenever it's on. Nothing has changed since it was made. I will not see Killers of the Flower Moon, it will just upset me too much. I have an inane sense of fair play and the more I learn of our history the more I feel I've been suckered into a great marketing ploy.

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Thanks for reminding me of Giant. Hadn’t thought of it for years but it was a phenomenal movie. Good story and great acting. I’d love to watch it again if I could find it.

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When I was 29, and late going to college, I decided to educate myself further on the Holocaust, reading everthing I could find, including Kuznetsov's Babi Yar. Later I visited the Holcaust Museum in D.C. To this day (I'm now 80), I cannot watch anything on that subject, nor can I see a picture of Anne Frank without tearing up. This beautiful, hopeful soul wrote "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart." This is a belief I no longer share. Seeing the sort if movies people describe here would just gut me; living in these perilous times is difficult enough. I am determined, when possible, to limit my

movie viewing and reading (aside from the horrifying daily news)to stories that allow me, however briefly, to feel hopeful.

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Last night I watched a Netflix series "American Nightmare" (not about tfg) about a kidnapping where, instead of looking for the culprits, the Vallejo PD and an FBI agent conspired to blame the victims. Thankfully, we voted in a Democrat AG and the Vallejo PD is going through some things related to oversight and leadership changes, wish the same could be said about the FBI. Vote 💙.

https://www.courthousenews.com/california-ag-inks-deal-to-reform-vallejo-police-department/

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I just watched that, too! Frightening!

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I'm late to respond, so many of my choices have already been mentioned:

Coming Home

The Deer Hunter

The Mission

Dances With Wolves

Mississippi Burning

Schindler's List

Apocalypto

Saving Private Ryan

The Pianist

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Steven I would be happy to purchase on whatever sight “the Zone of Interest “ is showing the film…. Years ago beside my husband was Jewish and Chief Admiistrative Judge of Palm Beach County

We were privileged to be in Israel with Elie

Weisel we spent a month traveling all over Israel and saw atrocities and relived the stories of holocaust survivors …right now

As someone raised Lutheran I’m having difficulty with Netanyahu decisions ..

I believe Palestinian people deserve their own state that they have the rights to

Rule Geneocide by any country is vile…

There must be two state resolution and respect for both Israelis and Palestinians

To rule themselves with dignity & respect

Nazi’s began the same way our country is

Burning and banning books, military rule

Authoritarian Rules UNLESS Americans

Wake up and Vote Blue our democracy

Is not going to exist Please even if you’ve

Never voted blue just this 2024 vote Blue

Save our Democracy so we can come

Together with two healthy parties and

Save our children and grandchildren ❤️

Blessings to to person who thoughtfully

Wrote and impacted my life, heart & soul

Gratefully, Marsha 🌹

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And Shoelaces, https://www.chaiflicks.com/shoelaces. Absolutely brilliant:SHOELACES tells the story of a complicated relationship between an aging father and his special-needs son. Reuben's (Dov Glickman) kidneys are failing and his son Gadi (Nevo Kimchi) wants to donate one of his own kidneys to help save his father's life. However, the transplant committee objects to the procedure claiming that Reuben, acting as Gadi's sole legal guardian, does not have the right to authorize such an invasive procedure. Gadi, who recently lost his mother, is afraid of losing his father as well and sets out to fight for his right to save his father's life. Through its portrayal of a relationship full of love, rejection and co-dependency, SHOELACES questions the importance of human connection and if life is even possible without it.

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Sophie's Choice was also horrific re: Nazi regime and having to choose between your two children.

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“Two Women” - 1960, dir. Vittorio DeSica

Heartbreaking, but life-affirming, “Two Women” is an unforgettable experience.

Cesira ( Sophia Loren, devoid of any hint of Hollywood artifice) is a young widow living in Rome with her beloved, virginal daughter Rosetta during WWII. When bombing of the city intensifies, they depart for safety to Cesira’s native village in the Italian hills to wait out the end of the war.

The film shows no scenes of battle, but the poison of war seeps into every corner of even rural life. The peasants scramble for food while suffering from the graft and corruption of local leaders. Axis German military garrisoned nearby foist daily humiliations on the Italian populace. A gentle local intellectual, who befriends Cesira and teaches the village children, is dragged away to an unknown fate. Through it all, Cesira is fierce in her vigilance and determination to provide protection and a semblance of an innocent childhood for her young daughter.

With the war drawing to a close, she decides to start on the road back to Rome with Rosetta. They stop to rest in a tiny, strangely deserted, sun-bleached village. As they seek shade in the bombed-out church, suddenly lurking figures in the shadows appear, chase and brutally gang-rape the two women and then flee. (The hideous irony is that these are Allied troops, Moroccan soldiers under the command of French forces.)

With Rosetta in an almost-catatonic state of shock, Cesira hastily gathers up their meager belongings. When a convey of American soldiers rumble into the village’s main road, she confronts them in a searing scene of grief and rage-- a shattering performance in which Loren shows the true cost of war to human dignity: the innocent suffer and even a mother’s love is impotent to prevail.

Despite its weighty subject, “Two Women” is not a grim slog. The lively, resilient Cesira; the close-knit peasant community; and even some humor leaven the story. In the final scene, director DeSica frames the two through a window in a kind of pieta, but one in which the women, whose unshakable love for each other, bonds them in healing, and in some hope for the future.

Gerri Williams

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The Boy in the striped pijamas was one of the several I have watched that have gotten under my skin. Thank you for your insight on Zone of Interest. I just pray that there won’t be a movie like this about the US in 50 years. Our democracy is so much at risk

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Just watched, "All the Light we Cannot See" on Netflix (the only channel I get.). Set during the Nazi invasion of France. Evidently, the young woman star is actually blind. What an amazing story. I was pregnant when watching Sophie's Choice.... agonizing. Mans inhumanity to man is beyond comprehension. We must not sanitize/deny history as the GOP is attempting to do. I got half way through the book "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" which I had been carrying around with me for years. I finally had time to read it but couldn't finish it. So devastating....

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Killers of The Flower Moon - the treachery, casual butchery, greed, hubris, duplicity and betrayal were nauseating. White Supremacy on our soil ... dehumanizing and vicious cycle

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For some reason my grandparents kept their issues of Saturday Evening Post, Look and Life; all great magazines, many of whose photographers were award winners. When I was about 8 or so years old I found them and will never forget the pictures taken by the embedded photographers who were with the soldiers liberating the camps. I’m 77 now but will never ever forget the many pictures of the horrors those poor soldiers encountered. Those who survived were skeletal with eyes that haunted. Then there were the hastily dug trenches where the last of the bodies of those who had been shot were hastily dumped and almost buried. The piles of bones, the ovens, the “labs”, the instruments of torture; you name it, the Germans either had invented new ones or had improved on old ones. Many years later when my husband and I were in Washington we visited the Holocaust Museum. Needless to say, the pictures of children, the piles of clothing and shoes that the owners no longer needed; the whole experience was almost overwhelming.

https://youtu.be/vp5Y6hia7a0?si=gc_dhmYUSHeTjU5F

https://youtu.be/s6GFUhIbJeM?si=ZQqYo7aoaYMfj5v6

The above links I’ve included here will connect to a couple of 5 year old 60 Minutes episodes about the Equal Justice Initiative’s Memorial located in Montgomery, AL. My husband and I made the trip down from NC for our anniversary trip to see it and to go to the museum across the street from it. It had to be one of the most sobering trips we’ve made mainly because we both grew up hearing about KKK cross burnings in our respective counties. This is our history, experienced by far too many not only in the past but still experiencing varying personal traumas today in our own back yards. And we are now standing on the edge of a cliff facing an election between a prospective tyrant and a flawed but still human man and we’re wondering how we got here?

Long story short, I won’t watch movies that beat my soul up any more than it’s already been beaten up by knowing what I know. I’m an old woman now but I was sexually abused as a child. I hate violence and man’s inhumanity toward others who are different from themselves or vulnerable. I’m just trying to find the light in life now. I’ve had my fill of darkness.

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Let's collaborate 😁

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On what?

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I will no longer either "watch movies that beat up my soul any more than it's already been beaten."

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That walk through the camp is horrific.

Holocaust must be taught in schools. Yeah, it’s uncomfortable. Denial is unacceptable.

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Remember in my formative years, going to see "Apocalypse Now" multiple times on the super-wide screen downtown Seattle. Having grown up in the Vietnam war, in Guam playing on WWII battlefields, it seemed like a window into the "horror" as Brando pronounces. But now having patched the blown-up bodies in USN hospitals, I know these "stories" are glossy drama versions of the unthinkable horrors & cruelties, which "The Zone" is trying to capture w/monstrous ambience.

Now that we are a global culture, where every major event is known within minutes, we are all living a version of "The Zone", w/escalating inhumanity, slaughter, war crimes in Ukraine & Gaza & Sudan, while we go on to our cafes, movie theatres, Sunday dinners.

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