Archive for February 9th, 2010

Yesterday, as I was painting in the studio, I had the pleasure of seeing two of my favorite movies, Hangmen Also Die and The Seventh Cross from the WW II era, two films that dealt with the citizens of countries occupied by the Nazis at that time.   Both dealt with underground resistance efforts and how they operated to undermine and hinder the Nazi’s hold on their countries.

I’ve always been intrigued by these movies made during wartime, movies that deal not with the soldiers in the field but with the citizens who struggle to live day to day under a brutal occupier.  The depiction of the resistance fighters in both of these movies is remarkable in that they are portrayed as totally unremarkable people.  Just everyday people who overcome their fears to perform small acts of bravery that collectively become large actions against their oppressors.

In many ways, these people are more inspiring and heroic than the John Wayne style heros of that era’s battlefield films.  When I watch these films, I always find myself wondering how I, or people I know, would react in such situations.  Would we be able to muster the will to put aside our fears and work to oppose our occupiers?  Or would we cave and submit willingly?

I know we would all love to say that we would take the heroic route, that we would fight against the powers that oppressed us.  For me, I can only hope that this is true.  I can’t be sure.   I’ve lived long enough to know that, for most,  the expediency of momentary security often trumps heroic intentions and the very thought of courageous actions.

I hope I never have to know the answer to these questions.

So, if you wish to be inspired by the courage of common folk, take a gander at these two films.  Maybe it will help you be braver in your own lives…

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