Last night I watched the short film, Two Distant Strangers.
The plot involves Carter James a graphic designer, a policeman, Merk and Carter’s dog Jeter. The move begins with Carter waking next to a sleeping Perri, a woman he met the night before.
It is showing on Netflix as part Black Lives Matter, examining the experiences of Black Americans in modern America.
I am no good at reviewing books and films.
My suggestion is that if you subscribe to Netflix, and have a free half hour, watch.
It is a time-loop narrative of racial abuse.
It conveys what it is to be trapped by circumstance, by race, class, and colour.
It is a critique of modern America.
If you read this morning’s blog, you will know that I am in the middle of Bernie Sander’s It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism.
Bernie discusses all the inequalities within the American political, governmental, social and health systems.
It sounds awful.
Yes, I know the facts and have a notion of the statistics. The numbers of poor men and women of colour in America murdered, the numbers locked-up in prison, barred from education and healthcare. It is horrendous.
I balk at the divisions between rich and poor in the UK.
The happy clappers gadding about in red jackets, chasing foxes or other endangered wildlife and the man or woman on the street.
Sanders, in his books talks about the uber-rich. The one percent of the one percent. Those who don’t stand on the street or find themselves in prison or forced to calculate how little insulin they can use without falling into ketoacidosis.
The first sequences of the movie are awful. Upsetting. Distressing to watch. When the inevitability and futility dawn, you are taken to another level of grim.
I think of the American arguing with the shop girl in Reykjavik a few weeks ago. He was trying to get her to reduce the cost of a woolly hat. I think of the American woman so beautifully described by Blindboy on the Dublin coach (here).
Me, as I said last week, I am a quiet guy.
I just want people to get along.
I don’t like shouting or noise or disturbance.
I don’t like fuss.
I’d sooner stand on the periphery than occupy the central stage.
How does this reflection relate to the film?
I want to call-out my privilege.
And yet, my life hasn’t been all that easy or straightforward.
I think of Victor Frankl.
He described suffering as like a gas, filling the space available.
There are no absolutes in pain or fear; each of us experiences life on our own terms, in our own heads, at our own pace. There is no go o’er.
I struggle to write about race or class as I find myself unsure as to my own position. I hate the notion that I might be perceived as classist or racist or narcissist. I just want some peace and quiet. And who decides? Who determines? Does it matter?
We live, we die, in between is a confusion.
2 thoughts on “Two Distant Strangers”
So how do you handle the dissonance? I am like you. I want harmony and peace. There’s so much discord around me. I want to fight but I can’t because I..just can’t. I am conflicted all the time. I feel like this dissonance is going to break me some day.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I’m hoping the answer will come to me eventually. Perhaps that’s what ‘they’ whoever they are want me to think.
LikeLiked by 1 person