Wednesday, March 05, 2014
The Book Thief
While the news channels proclaimed (in their own sensationalist way) that we are at the brink of World War III, I happened upon "The Book Thief" the movie. Set in Germany swallowed by propaganda during the years of WWII, it tells the inspirational story of a young Liesel; a girl adopted by a quaint German middle-aged couple and her passion for knowledge. But it isn't the story itself that captures your imagination, but the telling of it. The portrayal of the characters;. Papa, the cheerful old man, with a spring in his step, and a soul as light as a feather. Mama, who contrasts him so perfectly as the typical barking house-wife, who is later revealed to have a twinkle in her eye. Then there is the best friend and love-interest, Rudy, the embodiment of innocence and courage. Throw all these characters into a war-torn Germany, and watch the magic happen.
However, what really got to me was the importance people gave to the written word back then. Max, a Jew elaborates how each of us live because of the Word spoken into us. Words are life.
Reclining on my bean-bag typing on my laptop with my eyes closed, I think about how many books I could access with the swipe of my finger. How many do we actually read everyday? While we have 'life' itself at our fingertips, we tend to take it for granted and rather scroll down our facebook feeds.
And then I think; if Liesel were in our shoes, what would she have done? Wouldn't she have read and read chapters upon chapters every single day, and then written them down? Wouldn't she have taken complete advantage over the multitude of information at her finger-tips and put them to the best use possible?
Unlike her, we were born into plentiful. We never lack a book to read, or a movie to watch. All the information in the world is at the tip of our fingers whether we own a smart phone or a desktop with internet connection. Liesel's eyes, on the other hand, would widen with amazement at such information. She would not waste any time, but spend each day filling her head with wisdom from sages past, and the shrewdness of today.
We are a really blessed generation in a blessed part of the world. There is no plague, famine, or war to threaten our very existence. Our political structure is democratic, and encourages Human Rights, leaving us nothing huge to fight for, save the relatively luxurious existence we take for granted. This movie, and the time that I watched it told me one thing. The life we have is fleeting. We should make the best of it.