"Never forget" isn't just about remembering. It's about taking action to prevent it from happening again.
January 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, a day to commemorate and reflect upon the horrors of the Holocaust.
The phrase "Never forget" is oft repeated in reference to the Holocaust, but sometimes its real meaning seems lost. As fascist sentiments bubble beneath America's surface and our president and Republican party continue to dismantle the fabric of democracy, it's important to understand that "Never forget" isn't just about remembering. It's about taking action to prevent that thing from happening again. Of course, watching a movie about the Holocaust isn't exactly taking action, but sometimes great cinema can provide a lens into what we have at stake.
Undoubtedly the single most well-known Holocaust film of all time, Schindler's List remains relevant for good reason. The movie recounts the true story of Oskar Schindler, a German industrialist and member of the Nazi party who took it upon himself to save over 1000 Polish Jews by employing them in his factories. Primarily shot in black and white, Schindler's List presents an unrelenting view of the Nazi party's brutality, using jarring visuals (like the girl in the red dress) to evoke emotion and convey how obvious the horrors were to high-level officials. But at its core, the beauty of Schindler's List is the message of hope, the notion that the actions of good people can prevail even in the face of unspeakable evil.
Based on Władysław Szpilman's autobiography of the same name, The Pianist portrays the unlikely friendship between Szpilman, a Polish-Jewish pianist and composer, and Wehrmacht officer Wilm Hosenfeld, a Nazi disillusioned with his party's ideologies. Hosenfeld, captivated by Szpilman's piano expertise, makes it his mission to hide Szpilman and provide him with food and supplies. Much like Schindler's List, The Pianist is a harrowing portrayal of the Holocaust with a glimmer of hope and humanity amidst the darkness.
Life Is Beautiful
Infusing a Holocaust drama with comedic elements might sound like a recipe for disaster, but Life Is Beautiful proves that in the right hands, comedy can be just as effective at evoking an emotional response as tragedy. Inspired by Holocaust survivor Rubino Romeo Salmonì's book, In the End, I Beat Hitler, the movie revolves around the relationship between Guido Orefice, an Italian-Jewish bookshop owner, and his young son, Giosué. In order to shield Giosué from the harsh realities of living in a Nazi concentration camp, Guido turns survival into an imaginative game. Therein, tragedy and humor go hand-in-hand, ultimately conveying the resolve and selflessness of a parent's love.
Often considered one of Meryl Streep's crowning performances, Sophie's Choice tells the story of Sophie Zawistowski, a Polish-Jewish immigrant living in Brooklyn after escaping Auschwitz. Throughout the course of the story, it is revealed that Sophie was forced to choose between the lives of her two children at Auschwitz. While the movie doesn't actually take place in the internment camp, Sophie's Choice attempts to portray the lasting emotional damage that survivors carry with them throughout their lives, along with the sad reality that survival after trauma can sometimes be a death sentence all the same.
The Weinstein Company
Dwelling on the Holocaust can be a painful endeavor, especially for those whose family histories are forever tied to Nazi atrocities. While remembering and mourning is important, celebrating the defeat of Nazis can be incredibly cathartic, too. That's where Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds comes in. Sure, it's not historically accurate, but any movie about a team of badass Jewish soldiers killing Nazis is well worth watching. Remember, there's a reason that even today, nobody bats an eye when self-proclaimed Nazis get punched in the face.
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Shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine make cops seem harmless, an illusion tainted with centuries of racism.
Two summers ago, during one of the darkest periods in my personal life, I found solace in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a sitcom that stars Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta, an NYPD detective with an impressive track record of solved cases despite his goofy, unsophisticated demeanor. Since its premiere in 2013, the show has been commended for its representation of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC people; the recurring cast includes two very smart (and never overtly sexualized) Latina women, as well as two Black men in the precinct's top roles. In 2018, the show received a GLAAD Media Award for its depiction of queer characters. Throughout its seven seasons, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has addressed serious issues like workplace sexual harassment, reconciling with an absent parent, and coming out to disapproving family members, all while retaining a sharp, tasteful sense of silly humor. Rotten Tomatoes has given multiple seasons of Brooklyn Nine-Nine a perfect 100% rating, likening it to "comfort food."
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Apology for Previous Article: Pathetic White Women Are Also Big Mad That Greta Thunberg Is Time's Person of the Year
I apologize for my previous article. Plenty of white women are pathetic, too.
I'd like to offer my sincerest apologies for an article I recently published which, upon further reflection, I now realize was deeply flawed.
On December 12, 2019, I wrote an article titled "Pathetic White Men Are Big Mad That Greta Thunberg Is Time's Person of the Year." The conceit of my article was to laugh at all the lowest-performing white men pooping their nappies after TIME Magazine announced 16-year-old climate change activist Greta Thunberg as their 2019 Person of the Year.
My premise was erroneous, and from the bottom of my heart, I am sorry. I'm not going to give excuses or try to downplay the damage I've caused. If I could go back and start over, knowing then what I know now, please believe that I would do things differently. I'm sorry, and I hope you can accept my apology.
As soon as the article went live, I knew I had messed up. Yes, screeching, low-performing white men immediately swarmed into the comments to prove my point. They smashed boomer memes on top of boomer memes without an ounce of self-awareness, their dude-names emblazoned for all to see and their pasty white profile pictures glistening in the sun.
Self-identified low-performing white man mad about being called mad.
But another group of people showed up, too, equally angry and just as white, but not quite "male." Yes, in all my hubris, I called out pathetic white men without acknowledging their counterparts––pathetic white women who are also big mad that Greta Thunberg is TIME's Person of the Year.
Perhaps by not acknowledging these almost inconceivably stupid white women, who spit in the face of established science and also love throwing adult temper tantrums about a child with Asperger's who wants to make the planet more sustainable, I was engaging in latent sexism. After all, as many pathetic white women made crystal clear in the comments, they are just as capable as their pathetic white male brethren of being big mad weenies.
Pathetic white women rising up against Greta Thunberg.
I acknowledge that roughly 52 percent of white women voted for Trump, and that your ability to launch into rambling, improper emoji-laden paragraphs full of CAPITALIZATION to indicate SCREAMING makes you pathetic lunatics just like the white men I was initially laughing at. To promote acceptance and reject racism, let it be known that anyone can become a pathetic white man or woman, just so long as they reject science, denigrate children, and believe everything they saw in a very biased YouTube video.
"I am a strong, independent, professional white SCANDINAVIAN women."
I want you to know that I respect your tendency to post low-IQ boomer memes just as mindlessly as even the dumbest of white men. It was wholly my mistake not to recognize that plenty of pathetic, angry white men are, indeed, supported by pathetic, angry white women. Otherwise, how else would you continue making more pathetic, angry white people?
Why do boomers keep putting walls of text in their memes?
I see you, pathetic white women who are mad about Greta Thunberg, and I hear you. And again, I am sorry for my error. Both pathetic white men and pathetic white women are angry that Greta Thunberg is TIME's Person of the Year, and in the name of gender equality, I want it to be clear that all of you are worthless.
Literally all worthless.
I do feel a little bad insulting people who are mentally tantamount to children younger than Greta Thunberg, even if they're trapped in old, white bodies, but if our president can do it, so can I.
After all, as First Lady Melania Trump might say, "Insulting children on the Internet is what it means to #BeBest, unless anyone makes a joke about Barron, and then it's not okay." Or something like that; who cares, they're all hypocrites.
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