When my husband and I have pockets of together time we enjoy going to the movies. Unfortunately THIS is how we pick which film to watch: “How long will M be at the party?” “She’s fine until 8.30pm but we have to pick Z at 8pm from my mother’s?” “OK so what’s playing at the nearest cinema at around 5pm.” “'Iron Man 2' or 'La Rafle' (Round-Up) with Jean Reno.” No tough choice here, La Rafle!
So another Holocaust drama it is, even though we’d both been silently hoping for an adventure or comedy to take our minds of the fact that everyone in Greece, even in the private sector, will be having mandatory pay cuts effective immediately and our daughters’ private school fees will be counted as assets on our next tax return and - here comes the worse - my husband is being forced to lay off workers to stay afloat...etc etc...
Five minutes into the film and we are both already bawling like babies despite being hard-boiled cynics. Perhaps we really needed to see this film just so that we could have an excuse to snivel. “Hey, I’m not crying cause I can’t bear this miserable life anymore but because this is a sad film with a plot based on actual events!”
As the wretched Auschwitz-destined Jewish parents are split up from their children at the French transit camp, my husband and I are comfortably holding hands while being swept by a tide of emotions. “I miss the kids,” I whisper, forgetting how we complain that we rarely have time together without the kids.
By the end of the film we have forgotten the pending doom and inevitable poverty looming ahead. “So what if your company shuts shop (something very likely), so what if I get sacked (not on the cards yet), we’re still so lucky!” I say. He nods in agreement.
Thank goodness for the little jolts that come our way just at the right time to jump-start us out of our routine. And indeed, this little film about the biggest tragedy in French history is perhaps what I needed to gather my courage and remember that what matters more than what happens to you is how you deal with it and who you are. Sometimes in this world of artificial emotions, bogus heroes and misguided priorities it's easy to forget exactly who it is we want to be.
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