1 April 2019 | sb-47-608737
Moving tale of Racial Prejudice
Though one of the reviewer has mentioned it to be dated, but is it really ?
The racial prejudice - though used destructively by Nazis, existed during and even earlier, not only there, but elsewhere too- the Camping of Japanese (and the use of Vermin for them were a proof of it), even those who were citizens for generations, in USA, the treatment of Gypsies, the fate of the indigenous tribes every where - Maories, Amerindians, Dark-skinned persons,... and it continues even today. The people are still considered equal - or inferior - based on the skin and race. So one really can't call it dated. The mind-set of Nell is very common even today, and the others - are accessory, by compliance/ silence.
In the story, the heroine (Frieda's) parents were killed in allied bombing - and that well could have been by her love's brother, Alan, who was shot down while bombing the city. But that part of sympathy was missing - that of course isn't by error - may be even deliberate - the psychology of people to overlook the loss of "Others" even when that had been caused directly by "Us".
The movie is about the girl, who has sacrificed everything to protect the man she loved (who didn't, at least initially), and her travails - in enemy domain, where she is racially prejudiced by all, and even the circumstances force her man to turn against her - forcing her to opt for divorce Italian (or catholic) style.
There was only one weakness in the narrative - Frieda's brother - his attitude was not normal. He was totally brainwashed Nazi, on that aspect I don't have complain, but he definitely can't make his innocent sister (that too, the only one left in the family) a sacrifice at the alter, and that too through false implications. In fact any brother, however ideologically blinded he might be, he would try to shield his kid sibling. The attitude of all others were explainable.
Robert batted for Frieda - till he got irrefutable proof of her complicity - from her own brother. Nell was blindly prejudiced. The widowed sister in law, Judy wanted him for herself, and that was actively supported by all the family. Who, though not so much racially prejudiced as Nell, still were to quite some extent, probably due to the human losses suffered in the family - Robert and his step-brother were the only surviving - I wonder what happened to his step-father though.
Despite the semi-melodramatic presentation, it is worth a watch, to look at our own contemporary society, and reflect, aren't we all still in those ages and mind-set ? Aren't we still saying, as the woman remonstrated at registration office against "Giving out rations to a German girl" and "Soon we would be feeding the whole nation" .