Thursday, August 30, 2007

Morning Movie

This [rather than using the b-word, which I very much despise, I'll call this a website] seems to have immensely distracted me from movie watching lately. 241 days have gone by this year and I think I've seen only less than a 100 movies. Slow pace. Very slow pace. Oh well. In any case, I sat and watched one this morning.

Been many years since I've last seen this. So many movies, because of how friggin' mediocre or downright bad they are, I essentially forget about pretty much as soon as they're over. But this film is one that has always stayed with me in some small way. And with this viewing it was even more powerful.

Alamo Bay


Starring: Ed Harris, Amy Madigan, Ho Nguyen

Directed by: Louis Malle

In the years following the Vietnam War, to get away from the evils of Communism, many refugees fled all the way from their homeland to the mostly free United States. While this wonderful nation is so messed up, at least people here have a chance to thrive. The gulf coast of Texas was, and still is to this day, a great source of income from fishing the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Many Vietnamese made their living from the sea so this part of Texas was ideal for them.

Ho Nguyen, in his first of only two movies, plays one such refugee, Dinh, who happily makes his way to Alamo Bay where many of his people are. Glory (Amy Madigan) is working hard for her dad who owns one of the bigger shrimping operations on the bay. Many of the newly local Vietnamese work for her much to the dismay of other local Texans, Vietnam Vets included. They feel threatened by the foreigners who are taking their jobs, in some cases, and putting a dent in their fishing business.

Ed Harris plays one of the vets who has the loudest voice of them all. If he had his way, all the "gooks" would either be gone or dead. While frightened, the refugees just want the same chance as everyone else and they aren't all giving in so easily. And when getting rid of them is tougher than you planned on what do you do? Bring in the Ku Klux Klan, of course -- sheets, rifles, effigy burnings and all.

The film is somewhat slow moving but the tension keeps getting racheted up all the way through. What transpires is shocking, disgusting, sad, and not entirely just a fictious story. This is all Inspired by Actual Events that took place along the coast of Texas. The KKK was alive and well with good ol' boys opposing (legal) immigrants who just wanted a chance to work hard and live free. Malle's storytelling here has left me almost speechless. Light is shed on a very ugly part of the fabric that makes up American culture. The viewer is clearly shown senseless abuse of others because of the simple fact that they're different. Any American seeing this film should feel shame and horror and sadness and be left with a stronger connection to the injustice of human rights abuses that still exist in the world today.

It's hard to believe human beings would treat other human beings with such extreme condemnation. It's certainly not justified in God's great and holy name... but without God then I suppose it's okay. Without love and respect for Christ then everything is okay. All one has to do is live within the bounds of the law made by courts and politicians... or just not get caught. So I guess then that human rights abuses such as murder can be justified as okily dokily to the person who wishes to do the lynching so long as God doesn't exist.

No comments:

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated