Serious Popcorn: October 2009 Archives

Feet.jpgYes, loyal reader, Serious Popcorn has been suffering from neglect lately.

This is because I have spent the summer and autumn slogging through the final revisions of my book, now tentatively titled America's Cultural Footprint: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

But speaking of footprints -- and slogging -- allow me to recommend the 2001 German film, As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me, based on the true story of a German POW sentenced to 25 years hard labor in the Siberian gulag.  Knowing that the alternative is death, Clemens Forell (a pseudonym) escapes and begins a desperate 8,000 trek across Siberia and Central Asia, eluding the Soviet security forces and barely surviving at times, until he crosses into Iran and is identified by an uncle summoned by the Tehran authorities.

At that point, three years after his escape, Forell returns home and is reunited with his wife and children in a scene that, like many others, is as emotionally powerful as it is swift and direct.  There are some Hollywood touches here, notably the added subplot about the camp commander pursuing Forell the way Javert pursues Jean Valjean in Les Miserables.  But for the most part, the film is true to the 1955 book by the German writer Josef Bauer.

This modern Odyssey is not well known in the US, perhaps because the central character is, after all, an officer in Hitler's army.  All I can say is, the tellers of this tale have clearly thought about that, because the best part of the film is the way it portrays the broad swathe of humanity Forell meets along the way, including a Jewish merchant  in Kazakhstan whose family were wiped out by the Nazis.   If these people were willing to risk their lives to help a good man, then the least we can do is watch.
October 25, 2009 5:10 PM | | Comments (0)


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About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by Serious Popcorn in October 2009.

Serious Popcorn: August 2009 is the previous archive.

Serious Popcorn: November 2009 is the next archive.

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About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
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