Saturday, February 04, 2006

Movie: One night the moon

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Monday, January 23, 2006
watching the same movies over and over again

One night the moon..oh such a sad movie..

I tried watching this movie all over again after 2 years. This was a very sad movie and I could not bear to watch it towards the end. Stuck with a husband who allows his prejudice to stand in the way of finding their lost daughter, the mother goes to the aborigine tracker to help her track her child. But by then it is much too late. The father and mother were both deeply entrenched in his own racist values. The mother too was as racist as they come but she, in the interests of vested self interest, decided to use the aborigine trackers help.
It goes to show that we must listen to each other and in particular listen to those who sit at the fringes. Listening enough is not enough however. For people to genuinely change they need to be willfully conscious of what our harp strings are, the choices we face and whether we have the courage to exercise those choices. Once we have made our choices it is time to take a decision and then act on it. It is not enough for us to insist that someone or something is driving us to behave the way we do. In the movie the father was responsible for his biases which reflected in the way he treated others.
A major delusion the father faced was his extremely, almost arrogant belief, in his own abilities. He needed to acknowledge, after the initial tracking party was unsuccessful that he should reach out to the expert aborigine tracker and shed his own bias. If the father was self-responsible he would have worked to become aware of his own beliefs and values and reached out to people who see things differently.
Other people do not exist as means to your ends, any more than you live in service to their goals. People may choose to help one another -- voluntarily as the aborigine wanted to.
Racism is destructive. It disempowers people by devaluing their identity. It destroys community cohesion and creates divisions in society as i saw in the Australian farm in the movie. Racism is the result of a complex interplay of individual attitudes, social values and institutional practices that prevailed in Australia then. It is expressed in the actions of individuals and institutions and is promoted in the ideology of popular culture which at the early settlement days was to hate the aborigines.
It changes its form in response to social change. Racism has its roots in the belief that some people are superior because they belong to a particular race, ethnic or national group . The concept of race is a social construct, not a scientific one. Racist attitudes and beliefs are misconceptions about people based on perceived racial lines and are often founded on the fear of difference, including differences in customs, values, religion, physical appearance and ways of living and viewing the world. It is so easy to learn not to be a racist if one wants to consciously do that.


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