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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Disappointed in the brouhaha

From: Susie Bigelow, Ardsley, NY

I am so disappointed by the hoopla of accusations over the voting at the Oscars. While recognizing that "Crash" was about prejudice and intolerance, the larger issue for me, was that "Crash" was about the ugly AND the beautiful qualities that exist in all of us in constant and ironic conflict, each showing it's face when we least expect it. Almost every character in that movie demonstrated that they could be harsh and critical and judgemental in a moment of anger and fear. And yet in another moment, able to transcend those characteristics and surprise even themselves, or shockingly, as in the young policeman, discover their unrecognized dark fearful side.

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I saw "Crash" as about the duality that exisits in everyone of us and how dangerous to think that one is better than someone else when one is so fragile and so easily drawn into our worst actions. For me, "Crash" was the more unlikely film to receive the award because it is about ALL of us. And I felt "Brokeback Mountain" actually fell into a sub-category of "Crash." I thought if "Crash" won, then so did "Brokeback Mountain.". But if "Brokeback" won I thought we would be ignoring the larger all-encompasing issue, that we are all a combination of hero and Hitler. Thus if "Brokeback" won I feared it would just be to be politically correct.

I wept in a sense of relief that "Crash" won. And now I find myself at a loss to understand the controversy. Now I kinda weep that we cannot appreciate either, and that the controversy will destroy the impact of both movies. Thank you for your insightful article.

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