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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Catch a Fire

Last night, through the gracious invitation from a friend at the South African Consulate General, I saw a private screening of "Catch a Fire". The movie is about South African Apartheid in the 1980's and a man's story during that timeframe.

I had no clue what the movie was about before seeing it, so needless to say I wasn't properly prepared for the gravity of the film's subject matter. However, I thought the film was absolutely amazing. It's an interesting look at peoples' reactions to opression and unjust behavior, as many black South Africans were wrongly suspected of conspiring against their white-dominated government and subsequently arrested and tortured. It's also provides insights into the resilience of the human spirit and its ability to fight back in the face of adversity.

I found it also shockingly unfortunate that history is constantly repeating itself, sometimes not necessarily in the same form or to the same degree as in the past, but still nevertheless what happened in South Africa is similar to the Civil Rights Movement in the US, to a varying degree.

More importantly, it's not a large leap of the imagination that what happened in South Africa -- in terms of torture and wrongful imprisonment all in the name of "treason against one's country" -- could not repeat or is not repeating itself in the US currently. One day we all may find ourselves awakened in the middle of the night only to be hauled off to a detention center and questioned about our 'alleged' involvement with the terrorist threat du jour.

Hopefully this film will open peoples' eyes to the struggles of the past and the potential for repeating these mistakes in the future. I also hope it will serve as a case study of a country that made a positive change.

Check out the trailer and check out the movie when it's released.


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