More Resistance Movies

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My two earlier commentaries on resistance films—movies that portray the heroism of outnumbered people under brutal invasion by great powers—brought forth a good deal of attention and discussion.  It might be worth continuing the theme a little longer.  For me it is a high priority of  faith that every genuine nation, no matter how small in size, has a right to its self-government.  After all, every real people has come into existence for some reason by the workings of Providence in history.  (I mean a genuine historical people—not, for instance, Chechens, who are not a nation but merely an arm of Dar-al-Islam.  Nor cultureless Africans  who are  better off under Christian rule.)

The long-awaited Polish film Katyn (2007), about the Russian Communist massacre of more than 5,000 Polish officers during World War II, just recently became available in the U.S.  The Katyn Forest massacre, long blamed on the Germans by the Soviets and Western liberals, is one of those episodes of history that should never be forgotten.  The film is less about the event itself than about the long struggle against suppression of the truth.  I was somewhat disappointed, finding the film uninvolving and sometimes hard to follow.  But still worth watching compared to what comes from UnHolywood these days.

Rather better in my opinion is the 2002 Estonian film Names in Marble (Nimed Marmortahvlil).  It is not available in the U.S. but I heard about it and was able to get a copy from Europe thanks to the good offices of Confederate expatriate and Chronicles contributor Brooke Cadwallader. It is the true story of six schoolboys who took part heroically in the Estonian defeat of Soviet invasion in 1918–1920. All but one died.  It is not a simplistic story.  We see fear, incompetence, and internal divisions within the country, but the characters and situations are convincing and absorbing.  And the film ends with a tag line informing us that twenty years later the Soviets marched into Estonia unopposed.

Dr. Thomas Fleming is my authority on antiquity (and the authority of every other sensible person).  I understand he does not care for the original film of the 300 Spartans (1962).  Undoubtedly it is historically less than perfect, but I want to say a word in its defense.  It is about one of the greatest events in the life of the West and is perhaps as good as an American audience today can hope to see and understand.  My opinion of it has improved since seeing the abominable cartoonish 2007 version called 300.  It resembles a video game, and video games are merely animated comic books.  In the new version of Thermopyle the Spartans are unbelievable giants, Xerxes is portrayed as a weird  monster, and in a ludicrous bit of PC anachronism, a black African is the commander of the Persian forces.  This anachronism seems to be a major UnHolywood theme these days.  Black actors pretty well dominate the action hero genre now.  I recently saw a flick in which a black African led a peasants’ revolt in medieval Rumania.

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