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Where do all these objects come from?... How does it happen that these things are made and not others? Of course, there are only a limited number of workers in the world. And each day they do a limited number of things: some things and not other things. Who tells them what they ought to do? The holders of money. They bid their money for the things they want and each bit of money determines some fraction of the day's activities. So the people who have a little determine a little and the people ...
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This movie completely took me by surprise. I was a bit taken aback by a commenter here who found it odd that the main character had not been out in the "world". Until recently when the US government made it mandatory for citizens who carry a passport when visiting our neighbors Canada and Mexico, only 20% of Americans had passports. I.e, only 20% of Americans have a clue as to how hated we are in the world. But, I digress.
For every issue one can imagine, there are always two sides of the proverbial coin.
The character that Vanessa Redgrave plays is one who becomes aware that there are people in the world that work just as hard as she had in her lifetime who have less. Far less. And this is a message that for Americans (I cannot speak for anyone else in the world and do not presume to speak for all Americans) this is a difficult concept. For here anyone born into any circumstance has the possibility of making anything out of oneself with hard work and dedication. It is hard to conceive of countries where that is not a possibility.
In a foreign country and in the midst of a fever, a woman examines her upbringing, her circumstances, and her shock that not everyone who works hard attains prosperity. Her torment is merely what each and everyone of us should examine in our own lives, especially at a time when immigration is such an issue in the US, a country born to welcome the downtrodden from other countries. When her fever ends, she longs for her soft cotton sheets and other comforts of her home and that with which she is familiar. Yet she is changed. For she is awakened.
I think this film is one that everyone should see. And now that HBO has begun to air it, there is no excuse not to see it. It is not black and white. There are no clear cut villains or heroes. There are issues of entitlement but entitlement is an ongoing issue to any thinking person. It is something men take for granted that women will never know. It is something whites takes for granted that people of color will never know. Entitlement is often so subtle that it takes intense examination to truly understand what it is. And this is something "The Fever" undertakes. Everyone works hard. Why does it have pay offs for some and not for all? Don't disregard this film as just another "liberal" film. Let it seep into your soul and give it some real thought. For it is truly food for thought. It is food for the soul.
The scene with Micheal Moore and the conversation about the delicious ice cream is a powerful scene. It is one that can be applied daily here in the US (obviously not as milk). One can use the milk to make ice cream to increase tourism to a country and thus prosper the country. Or, it can be used to feed all the children (and thus prosper the country in a different manner).
Metaphysically this movie pits the concept of limitation against the concept of limitlessness. Methaphorically speaking, is there really only enough milk for one or the other? Does this movie perpetuate the illusion of the responsibility of fairness in the world when not only is that concept subjective but obviously (if only noted of birth circumstances) to be a falsehood? Or does this movie inspire us to strive to make the world a better place for all? Should one feel guilt when one realizes that ones hard work does not justify ones comfort, when in reality all work hard but are not all comfortable? And what steps should we take when that realization is made?
See this movie, if for no other reason than . . . to think. It deserves your thought.
What I thought of was that song, "he ain't heavy. He's my brother."
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