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Speaking of strong women . . .

December 30, 2015

I saw the film “Brooklyn” and I do recommend it. A sweet film (not without pain, of the kinds we all suffer). And it was good to be reminded of recent experiences (ca. ’45-’55) of immigration into an America that meant hope and welcome—even survival. Of course the Irish and Italian newcomers to Brooklyn were not refugees, in the sense, for instance, of the Europeans who fled fascism and anti-Semiticism before the war, or were “DPs” (displaced persons) after the war and still arriving at the time of this film (I became friends with a man who was sponsored into the States by the Methodists of Indiana, of all places; he was a farmer from the Ukraine and had lost his entire family to the Bolsheviks and the Nazis—his daughter had died of hypothermia in his arms, as they hid in the woods).  Or, of course, Syrians today.

The protagonist of “Brooklyn” is a young Irish woman, who must be heroic in the homely, workaday ways that many of us must be (and suddenly, just now, I remember my home room teacher in high school, Miss G, just a couple years after this film takes place, remarking one morning before classes, that the true heroes are people who do what has to be done, day after day); and there are several other strong women characters in the film, both “heroic” and “villainous.” It’s an exploration of what it takes.

And to sing briefly of arms and the woman: in a recent conversation about films, my daughter K mentioned that the Angelina Jolie, woman-warrior film, “Salt,” while not great, was fun. I was in that kind of mood last night, and it was fun. She’s surrounded by male warriors, of course, and I’m probably not giving too much away if I say that she’s stronger than they are, in every way. Ha, which also takes me back to the ‘50s: “smahtah…that’s right!”

[Earlier, I was “speaking of” Hillary as an especially strong woman-person-candidate, here and here.]

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