Monday, August 17, 2009

Little Bee, two

So I finished the story and I was gratified by the discovery that the tale was well told. Little Bee and Charlie and Sarah and Lawrence and all the bit players from soldier/killers to killers/antiimmigrantracists rang true. We do live in a world where harm blends with happiness and where courage is used to face every new day. We live in a world where a fellow like President Obama, who professes to want to end war, can continue the war in Afghanistan. We live in a world where neocons can disrupt town halls but protesters can't parade any where near a political convention. We live in a world where the banks have the money, get the money, make the money and the people don't. We live in a world where despite all of that a story like Little Bee can end with hope for a new tomorrow and Rambo can finally go home.

Little Bee

I am a firm believer in the serendipitous. So I find it no coincidence that last night while perusing the tv menu, T and I came across a Sylvester Stallone flick and began to watch it. We are North Americans after all and violence on film attracts us. We love to watch the Die Hard series, and this one, was a Rambo though we were sure we had never seen it before. For one thing Rambo looked old and for another, Julie Benz from Dexter was playing the love interest. But it wasn't til after the destruction of the village scene that I felt compelled to find out when and for that matter what this movie was called. 2008 and Rambo. So it was the comeback film we had heard about but weren't able to see in the theater.

But back to the scene. One moment, it's Doctors without Borders doing their thing in a sleepy jungle village and the next it is a war zone filled with flying bodies, burning huts, raped women and total wanton destruction. Too real, too realistic. T and I looked at each other and asked why would any human being do that to another? What reason could they have? Religious belief, a village built on top of valuable oil, political disagreement, or just destruction because they could?

Which brings me to Little Bee, Chris Cleave's 2008 novel about two women who meet through the happenstance of war, one from Nigeria and the other from England. I am half way through the story but still, here come the same questions, why and how can this be happening in the same world where T and I sit and watch Sly retaliate with more than equal violence?

Is it because we sit and watch? The Rambo film is simplistic in its answer. "You can't change anything.", he says. Cleave on the other hand maybe going for something different. A subject for my next post.