David Fellerath's good review of the movie The White Ribbon ("Teenage Deutschland," March 3) ends on statements that I would like to comment on.
The reviewer was disappointed by what he thought was a reductive interpretation of the film by the director himself. The director—according to the reviewer—saw the violence and cruelty prevalent in a German hamlet in the early 1900s as a harbinger of WWI horrors. The reviewer strongly questions that view, then states as a counter example that 19th-century literature is full of allusions to the cruelty and violence visited on children and women, for instance in Chekhov, Flaubert and Dickens. He could have cited many other famous authors. But his examples confirm the director's point. In fact, Chekhov's country embarked on almost a century of totalitarian horrors; the industrial revolution meant hell for women, children and poor men; pious Anglo-Saxons exterminated Native Americans; and American slavery blighted the New World.
Families and societies nurture all that is positive and negative in our world. That is why it's so important that education, women's rights and social justice be the first items on any country's agenda. Or we will pay the price of our shortsightedness.
Angela M. Jeannet
Think about why the public has been so enthusiastic about the film The Blind Side, despite a negative, supercilious review by Neil Morris in the Indy (Film Calendar, Nov. 18, 2009) and film critics across the country.
Could it be because the world wasn't being destroyed in a blood bath, or a city overrun by creatures from another planet, or some sweet guy turns out to have fangs, or the hero isn't dashing away from an exploding car? The list of cruelties, mayhem, ugliness and sadomasochism that prevails in movie theaters these days is depressing.
So Blind Side isn't a masterpiece. It's a simple (true) story, told in a low-key, cheerful way, with a happy ending. How lovely!
Nancy Rogers Yaeger