Monday, April 14, 2008

The Girl in the Cafe: Thoughts on the movie and world issues

Greetings from the United States!

Welcome to my blog on the politics of security in East Asia. This blog is for one of my college courses and explores the definition of security and how its being addressed in East Asian nations. I am using a portion of the space for this blog to write about The Girl in the Cafe and how the movie changed some of my values in world, political topics. Want to know more and become part of the world-wide movement? Go to The Girl in the Cafe: On Tour It just may change your life, too.

Just a great movie in general...
This movie is the perfect way to get new demographics interested in real world issues. Placing what seems like a love story within the setting of a G-8 Summit and talks on millenium development goals (MDGs) gives a personal face to politics and the people involved in them. I loved the quirkiness of the couple and how oddly their relationship developed under such circumstances.

The characters are symbols for actors on the world stage
Gina embodies a humane view of MDGs. She is the true heart, soul, and vision behind what these goals seek to fulfill. Lawrence is the voice of reason, the voice of education, and the voice of today's progress-driven world. He is a political analyst with the MDGs in mind but a national government and national interests to answer to. And he does his job but the obsession he has with his work shows he wants the simplicity, compassion, and idealism associated with Gina. She cannot see why the issue of famine is so difficult to resolve but he cannot figure out how to make the issue simple enough. And neither can his colleagues.

The Girl makes you think
She really opened my eyes to how backwards and unflexible the world power distribution is. She thought of this problem on the human level, being a person who has witnessed the death of a child (possibly hers) at the hands of her husband, where the real victims of world hunger also exist. No matter what anyone said to her, she knew that the real answer was to simply help the starving people of the world because developed nations have the food and money to do so. It makes you think... How have we gotten to this place? What forces and international power structures stop us from addressing such basic problems quickly and cohesively? Will we ever be able to take care of the world's people the way we were meant to ever again? Gina puts it very eloquently when she warns of something along the lines of the danger of losing touch with what really matters when one thinks too hard and is too educated. You lose your humanity.
The prime minister says its dangerous to say things when you know too little. Gina responds by saying that it can be dangerous to know too much.
The message of the movie
What do I think about the hopeful, idealistic ending in which the British Prime Minister finally caves into the simple vision the Girl shows him??? I think it is the only way the movie could've ended. There has to be a point where we wake up and start to shift focus from power and money to people, health, happiness, and the right to life again. I want to believe the film makers made this movie because they see a possibility for change, too.

What are the odds that Lawrence, the face of world power structures, meets Gina, the voice of the world community, in a Cafe and finds himself at a table with her? This meeting in the cafe represents the important day the serendipitous encounter of hunger and its relief meet, make a connection, and put all their energies together in order make the world right again the way Gina and Lawrence fight for their love. Amazing movie that really puts life into perspective for a student of politics and anyone who uses reason and theory too much when thinking about the lives of millions of his/her fellow human beings.

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