"A Resting Place"

It has been a lovely frosty, sunny day here in Norfolk and my wife and I (retired as we are) have spent most of the day wandering the fields, but at 3.30 pm, when the best of the day ws over we retired (pun unintended) to sit in front of the TV set to watch a film on Channel 5 - a film made for TV in USA - the titles saying made on location in Georgia, and awarded 4 stars (highest rating) by the film listings in the BBC's Radio Times.

The film, entitled Resting Place, starred Morgan Freeman, whose performances we had enjoyed before in such films as Driving Miss Daisy. It turned out that Morgan Freeman took quite a small part in the film, though the character he played and the wife were crucial to the story, which, concerned as it was with the aftermath of the Vietnam war seemed set to bring the most cynical of cynical remarks from my lips.

The story began with a US army officer (played by John Lithgow) returning the body of a black officer to his family and refusal of the local authorities to allow burial in "white (Causasian !?!)" cemetery and concerned the efforts to this officer to find a story to change the town's attitude.

The search for information was like something out of a Sherlock Holmes story, and held one's interest, though it left many questions as to how the officer would explain his findings to the the army authorities (cover-up, cowardice etc etc. by the mainly white members of the black officer's squad), but the film generally held one's interest for the full 110 minutes (including time of advertisement interruptions), and seemed to be a good attempt to combine an implicit intent to counter anti-racist bigotry with into a normal "detective story" format.

I felt impelled to write a short epistle because of the important question of the relative efficacy in the fight against racist or other bigotry of the frontal attack (as evidenced by Louis's evidently very deep involvement with the problems of the American Indian communities) and the more (and sometimes not so) subtle approach through the "personalised" stories possible in theatre and cinema. Perhaps others would like to comment.

Regards, Paddy

Mailto: E.C.Apling@btinternet.com