On Our Own

There is nothing better than listening to an episode of DNTO on doing things alone, while being alone. It’s reassuring to hear how other people cope with solitary experiences. Sometimes they even find them thrilling and liberating. Hmm…I do enjoy my solitary walks, and browsing in the bookstore, and even going to a movie by myself, but after a while I bore myself. The unpredictability of interacting with another person offers both a cerebral and emotional stimulation that is missing from solitary experience. Not that being solo precludes interacting with others. Sometimes it forces you to chat to strangers. Kind of temporary engagement.

I broke a technology barrier this weekend. This is my own Luddite technology barrier. I watched a film on my first generation iPad. I chose Kieslowski’s “The Decalogue” – Decalogue I, based on the first commandment. It’s absolutely beautiful to look at, austere and winter cold. It’s about a father and a son, both bright and engaging. The father is a linguistics professor, very much into reason and technology (the film was made in the late 1980’s, and the computers look so rudimentary). He teaches his son to use science and math to solve problems. The boy’s aunt tries to show him that science doesn’t negate faith or religion. The boy instinctively understands the co-existence of emotion and reason, soul and brain. I’m not sure I understood the moral of the story – the inexplicability of fate or accident? Or an Old Testament notion of retribution for not following the first commandment? It doesn’t matter – the film was a perfect 47 minutes, the boy and father so believable, alone and together.

On Friday I saw a very different movie. “Wadjda” is a the first Saudi Arabian feature film made by a Saudi female director. By a woman, about women. It’s good. Not heavy-handed; gets the point across.


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