Thursday, May 1, 2008

Lessons from the River Kwai

Lessons from the River Kwai

Iftekhar Sayeed at Unlikely 2.0

(essay at link above)

For me, the film "Bridge on the River Kwai" urges dignity despite the fact of being a prisoner. Merely because we are in hock to western countries doesn't mean we are slaves – we can live like dignified human beings. This is the central message of the film: the distinction between master and slave endures, not because the master has you in his power, but because you sink into passivity and lassitude.


"The subsequent scene in the botanical garden records the undoing of Commander Shears as the giant hand of Destiny assumes the guise of Major Warden. A very light-hearted, almost comical, scene in which the Major inveigles, and finally, entraps, Shears into joining an expedition to blow up the bridge, conceals profound insight into the nature of slavery. The essence of slavery lies in denial of the ego, in trying to be what your master wants you to be, and not affirming your true self. Commander Shears turns out to be an impostor!"

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