Posts Tagged ‘World War II’

CASABLANCA
DVD: Casablanca
Blu-ray: Casablanca

Casablanca Revisited

By David Macaray

With the Motion Picture Academy having recently announced a change in next year’s format (i.e., going from five Best Picture nominees to a whopping ten), it might be useful to revisit the classic 1943 Best Picture winner, “Casablanca,” one of the most celebrated films in Hollywood history.

Not only is it still ranked as one of the greatest movies ever made, not only does it feature one of the greatest movie songs (“As Time Goes By”) ever written, and one of the most-quoted movie lines of all-time (“Play it again, Sam”), but it managed to beat out an astonishing nine other nominees to win Best Picture.

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KATYN
DVD: Katyn

The Struggle Against Forgetting
Analysis by Binoy Kampmark

The Polish novelist Witold Gombrowicz writes somewhere that history has taught the Poles what it means to not exist. ‘Deprived of a state, they lived for over a century on death row.’ The nature of this historical erasure, this perennial placement in a purgatory seemingly without end, is captured in Katyń, the haunting tribute of Andrzej Wajda to the murder of 15,000 Polish officers in the forest bearing that name between April and May 1940. The proposal to do so had come from the Soviet People’s Commissar of Domestic Affairs, Levrenty Beria. Their murder had an obvious tactical object: the elimination of any functioning intelligentsia that might resist Soviet efforts to incorporate Poland’s eastern territories after the invasion.

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