Monday, February 24, 2014

King Rat - movie

I cried watching this. Having been to Changi Prison and listened to the stories of the men who’d been there recorded for the museum. It was so tragic and sad.  The Japanese treating all others like that. Tribalism at it’s rankest. The grossest inhumanity of man to another man. The rise of the survivor. George Segal’s acting and the others so amazing.  Corruption and advancement and war.  All so sad.
Today there’s a museum and a chapel.  What’s left of the War to End All Wars and the Great Imperial Expansion.
I’m reading of the European campaign in another book, The Post American World by Fareed Zakaria,  and realizing that the Hollywood rendition of history is just what appeals to customers. Zakaria makes a great case that winter won the war against the Nazis as much as anything. In the east it’s called Stalin’s War.  The greatest number of troops and the greatest investment in armaments.  Yet in the west we think of that war in Hollywood terms.  D Day and Sicily.
At Changi they’re already trying to rewrite  Japanese history.  Japan’s sadistic past being erased just like the British and Americans don’t care too much for the basis of the Opium Wars against China.  The winner writes history.  I liked the doctor in King Rat.  He rang true to me as doctors do.  I liked the British and Australians best.
I brought back a copy of a sketch from Changi, “Two Malarias and a Cholera” by Ray Parkin.  The Japanese refused to let the men carry a cholera patient back to camp from a work crew but relented at last to allow two other sick men to carry him back.
The survival of the soldiers and civilians is a testimony to human resilience.

No comments: