The Lives of Others & Invictus

I watched two excellent movies in past two days and am filled with an appreciation for the art of movie making all over again.

Incidentally, both are historic, or, period films. Both inspirational.  Both filled me with such a desire to check out the history that it is becoming a kind of information overload.

First one was Florian Henckel vonDonnersmarck’s “The Lives of Others”. It is a German film aiming to portray the lives and situations of artists living under the East Germany’s (GDR) Communist Regime. The movie drives home the point that an artist would rather not create art than create an art which is demanded/coerced of him and on which he has no control. The essence of art is ‘freedom’. As the director put it, art means ‘individualism’ which is the perfect antidote to any kind of collectivism.

vonDonnersmarck seems to me a man of great integrity and has depth in his thoughts. I read his interview here:

He comes out as a resolved guy who knows what he is doing. No wonder the movie he made is such a fantastic show. One quote of his which I especially loved is :

“They hate unpredictability. They hate anything which is in any way different. Since real art encourages you to be different, encourages you to recognize that you are different and special, and that’s in a way the essence of art. I mean, art is the perfect antidote to any sort of collectivism, so it is just the natural enemy [to totalitarianism]” – Florian Henckel vonDonnersmarck

The second movie was Clint Eastwood’s “Invictus” based on the book “Playing the Enemy” by John Carlin. It is a true story based on the life of Nelson Mandela and how a Rugby match provides a moment for reconciliation for the Blacks and Whites in then newly formed South Africa. Invictus is made as an inspirational movie and it turns out to be 100% so. The title of the film is the title of a short poem by William Ernest Henley. This poem was what kept Mandela going when things got tough( what an understatement!) for him in the 27 years he spent in a jail on Robben Island.

Francois Piennar is the captain of South African team and drives inspiration from the fact that a man can stay for much of his youth ( ~30 years) in a very tiny cell and still come out ready to forgive the people who put him there. What can one truly feel but awe for such a person.

Wonderful experience watching both the movies.

I am a fan again!


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