Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Forgiving Eva Kor/Pugh/Hercules

It’s been a while since I have blogged about anything. It had reached a point where I was thinking about having it deleted. Then I watched the documentary, “Forgiving Dr. Mengele” and I realized why I do have this space.

The documentary revolves around Eva Mozes Kor, a holocaust survivor, part of Mengele’s experiments on twins, consisting primarily her version of what happened at Auschwitz, and a comparison of the emotions of the other survivors of the twin experiments. The movie obviously had great reviews. It’s one of those topics that no one dares to voice a contrary opinion about.

I too, for a large part of the movie, got sucked into the emotion that the movie-maker so obviously wanted the viewer to concentrate on. One of the user reviews on imdb by Eric Monder (obviously having nothing critical to say about the issue on a public forum) could only find the sweetest nectar.
“In one of the many dramatic sequences, as a group of Jews argue with Kor at a Jewish centre, the meaning of the word "forgive" is even debated, but the isolated and outnumbered Kor holds her own”

But by this time, the sappy hold that the movie had on my dormant emotional repertoire had let loose enough that I could see clearly once more. After the “strong-willed” Eva Kor forgives her “Nazi captors” the movie begins to delve into what forgiving is all about, at least from the viewpoint of Kor. The movie goes about following her, past her public statement forgiving the Nazis and into new territory. To me, this was the meat of the movie, surrounded by inedible fat of her “act of forgiveness”. Obviously, it was a very sick cow.

On a mission to test her theory of forgiveness, in order to heal wounds of the past, she makes her way to the “promised land” to meet with some Arabs, to discuss with them the issues that they face and to see if dialogue cannot lead to a better understanding of the situation and heavily interspersed with debates and discussions with Jews in the US on her act of forgiving the Nazis, including one at a Jewish center in Chicago. From then on, anyone not so teary eyed that they can’t see the screen will find it hard-pressed to miss the obvious contradiction in her statements.

Firstly, you immediately notice her body language, defensive and unwilling to listen in a room full of Arab scholars and teachers. Her comments about how she feared that they might kidnap her shows how much of a waste of time, effort and money the entire act was. A rather annoyed Dr Sami Advan (Professor of education at Bethlehem University) gets it just right when he tells Kor off for a statement she makes about how she would rather be asleep in her apartment.

Finally, the debate at the Jewish center in Chicago, where she is “grilled” on the meaning of forgiveness and her right to do so, in the wake of those that continue suffering through the trauma of the acts.

I will cut to the chase. By the end of the movie, I was hoping I hadn’t chosen to watch the movie. The movie was badly made, failing to delve deeper into anything about Auschwitz apart from the purely trivial, just sufficient to make sure the holocaust is refreshed in the viewers memory and to incite a barrage of tears. It showed that Kor, the subject of the documentary was unable to engage in fair discussion. Her discussion abilities were limited to parroting her stance on forgiveness (at best) to a complete unwillingness to listen or participate.

Lastly, is everyone so retarded today that they can’t notice the difference between making peace and forgiving? Quoting another halfwit off imdb lustyvita, “I don't see her forgiveness as being weak- quite the contrary, she just wanted to relieve its hold from her soul, she wanted the suffering to be over, so she let it go.” That would be the perfect layman’s definition of MAKING PEACE.

I guess, in a world of propaganda, blind faith and political correctness, there is no room to question those that have “gone through more than the human mind can fathom”.

P.S. The dictionary certainly should go into all those Books-to-buy lists everyone keeps making.


Chris said...

while i appreciate you giving this film some needed publicity, i have to disagree with your assessment (which i believe i also did on imdb message boards)...take a minute to review eva's story on my blog, then formulate your opinion based on that knowledge...unless you've ever suffered one tenth the atrocities that eva did; unless you've walked one tenth of a mile in her shoes, then you have no right to judge her...the fact that she even desired to forgive her captures/torturers elevates her to saintly status in my book...you chose to debase her sainthood because of one lousy scene in the documentary...how sad for you.

The Depressed Doormat said...

Obviously you have colored spectacles on as you make a review. I think I have a more objective review. As for "walking" in her footsteps, that is the excuse every person who has ever faced any atrocities in the past, harps on forever. That is just a sign of weakness. You don't see the japanese harp on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and arguably, that is more atrocious than anything you can comprehend either.

So, your "walk in their shoes" reeks of hypocrisy. You better come with a better argument than "walk" their shoes because that is a weak argument and not likely to dissuade me. The movie sucked, and Eva Kor was the abysmal bigot that you would come to expect from someone with a theist bent of mind.