Over the weekend Peter and I talked and talked about two different movies that we saw a few days ago. The first movie was DAS WEISSE BAND (The White Ribbon). This one we watched online. The other movie was BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP. Both movies were very thought provoking. After we saw BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP on Saturday morning at the GALA Cinema in Warrawong we had lunch – (not just desert!) – in this Cafe which used to be a book shop previously.
DAS WEISSE BAND is set in a village in northern Germany before World War One. To me the way religion was regarded in this village looked very much like fundamentalism. Normal village life suffered because of this. Built up frustrations among adults as well as children resulted in evil deeds. Significantly nobody wanted the culprits to be found. Really strange behaviour! The Authority of the baron, the doctor, the pastor was accepted as a God given by the farmers and village workers. Nobody ever questioned the authority of these people.
The village teacher and the 17 year old nanny of the baron’s children were from the city, meaning they were outsiders and being treated as such. The midwife, who acted as housekeeper to the widowed doctor, suffered terrible abuse from him. The baroness was an altogether different person. She spent most of her time living in great style in Italy with her two children and a lot of servants, having a great time there. Once she returned to the baron’s manor with all her servants. This is when she employed the 17 year old nanny. However the baroness did not stay for very long. She asked the baron for a divorce for she had met someone in Italy and wanted to go back to Italy.
The pastor made his two eldest pubescent children wear a white band to remind them that they had to stay pure. The boy’s hands were tied to the bed at night so he would not be able to touch himself! All the poor families in the village (including the pastor) had too many children and were constantly in fear they would not be able to feed that many children.
Then World War One started.
See more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_White_Ribbon
Before I go to sleep: “This psychological thriller is based on the worldwide best-selling novel about a woman who wakes up every day remembering nothing – the result of a traumatic accident in her past – until one day, new terrifying truths emerge that force her to question everyone around her…”
As I said we watched this movie in the GALA Cinema. So many things in the plot we did not quite understand at first. I read up a bit now about it, also about the plot in the novel. In the movie the woman, Christine, speaks every day onto a camera as opposed to keeping a journal as in the novel. Christine is played by Nicole Kidman . Mark Strong plays Dr. Nash. Colin Firth plays Ben Lucas, the husband of Christine. Anne-Marie Duff plays Claire, a good friend of Christine’s. Can Christine trust her? She admits to having had a brief affair with Ben and that she then stayed away from Ben and his son for she did not want to upset her friend Christine.
Christine decides to trust Claire. She also wants to trust, Ben, her husband. Then it becomes doubtful that she can trust him. There were some scenes when Christine had reason not to completely trust Dr Nash. In the end she is very confused and does not know whom to trust.
Presumably, Christine was for a number of years in hospital after her traumatic accident. When the movie starts, she was at home with her husband Ben, but maybe only for about the last four months or so. Living with Christine becomes quite frustrating for Ben for every morning Christine has forgotten everything that went on the day before. After sleeping she does not know that Ben is her husband.
Dr. Nash gets in touch with her. He rings her every morning telling her where she has hidden her camera. Christine meets Dr. Nash but is not allowed to tell her husband about it. It is a suspense drama all right.
And how the story ends is really mind boggling. There are a lot of contradictory things that Ben tells Christine. What sort of accident has she actually been in and what or who caused it? I ask the question, why has this horrific “accident” not been conclusively investigated? Who is telling the truth? If Christine’s son is alive (according to Claire), why is she being told by her husband that he is dead?
Both movies had to do with human relationships and they raise for me the question why act people in a certain way? I tend to contemplate about what influences play a part in their lives? The photography, directing and acting in both movies was outstanding.