Spielberg is a gifted director, no one doubts that. And once again the film works perfectly and brings us from A to B without a hiccup.
I love the way we learn in the film about recent history (the 1960’s) without it being too didactic. It’s still a Spielberg film although it’s a serious reconstruction of legal-slash-unofficial affairs. Also I love the fact that he wants us to understand that in retrospect there is really no good side vs. bad side when it comes to the individuals, whatever we were all told during the whole Cold War period. On each side of the chessboard, people were doing their job as honestly to their country as was possible.
Also I shivered when I saw this moment when the wall is built, when people are split and can’t cross – when people were shot for wanting to reunite with their families on the other side. I still remember the live TV program we watched in 1989 when the Wall went down; we cried in front of the television, we knew something incredible was happening.
I had a teacher at University who was born in a state in the middle of the USA, where there was no chance whatsoever that a Russian bomber would arrive, yet they were trained to hide under the tables when the siren cried.
Fortunately those times are behind us now, but other trouble is happening.
Watching the film, and the documentary that comes with it, I couldn’t help thinking about what the French government is feeding its people at the moment, how the State of Emergency was officially turned off on the first of November, and how so many French people haven’t yet realised that most of it has made its way into our laws. The “State of Rights” in France has integrated the State of Emergency, in a large part due to the continuous paranoia entertained by the state and the media.
History has a way of repeating itself, and people have a way of forgetting it that I find discouraging, sometimes.