the quiet american

Imbolc                                                                  Valentine Moon

In the spirit of catching up on the films of the last few decades Kate and I watched the Quiet American, a 2002 adaptation of Graham Green’s 1955(!) novel.  It depicts, through the eyes of a British journalist, the early activity of the CIA in creating the South Vietnamese army and government.  Astoundingly prescient.

Raised many different feelings.  Yearning for Southeast Asia, a wonderful, yet strangely far away part of the world.  A place I feel intimately tied to through my sister and brother’s long tenancy there and my 2004 visit.  Disgust at the role of the American government in its most banal anti-communist clothing.  Memories of the 60’s as the dark fruit of the 1950’s seeds began to ripen, then rot.  Kate’s distaste for war.  “Killing doesn’t solve anything.”

A period for my generation that defined us as young adults.  Either for or against, little middle ground.  Those division persist among us.  Even in my high school class there are only a few of us who were anti-war.  The rest, the blue collar middle-class of those days, patriotic in a militaristic, flag-waving way.  Long ago but not far away.

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