i've been posting somewhat less than i've been meaning to, but here goes.
last month i was pleasantly surprised by watching The Book Thief. from the trailers, i gathered that it was a very visually striking yet highly derivative Holocaust film, taking a few plot points from The Reader, among others.
what i found was that while it did contain quite a few overplayed Holocaust film tropes, the acting and production values were quite good. the strength of its portrayal of innocent children having been indoctrinated by the Nazi regime was novel to me.
i also found, to my surprise, that one of the narrative threads was about the power of storytelling. there is one very moving scene where Liesel finally finds her own voice as a storyteller. she starts off haltingly and self-consciously, but gains confidence and continues when it becomes obvious to her that it is a story that her audience needed to hear. sometimes when people are afraid and alone, and the right story is the only thing that will hold back the darkness, it is your moral duty to tell it if you are able.
i think the people behind this film can join Neil Gaiman in the (in my opinion vanishingly small) class of storytellers who believe it is important to tell stories about the importance of stories. (i haven't read the book on which the film is based, but i suspect its author Markus Zusak is in that category as well.)
screams in ultraviolet
- on the art of storytelling