Correction: In my previous post, I said that Sunday 24th May would be the first anniversary of my arrival home from Santiago. Actually, it was Saturday 23rd. Either way, I didn’t get round to writing my One Year On blog post. I haven’t forgotten it, though, and I hope to write it very soon.
I live in London, U.K. and the weather here has been very pleasant indeed for the last week or two. I have even had to sleep on top of my duvet (though under a blanket) on a couple of occasions. British weather being what it is, we enjoy the good times while we can as it is very possible that the sun will decide that’s your lot and the rest of the summer will be grey and wet.
Lock down continues… kind of. Restrictions are being relaxed now and some people are returning to work. The streets, however, still remain pretty quiet. I can tell that there have been changes, though: the queue to get into Sainsbury’s is now shorter.
After lock down started, the government designated churches as ‘non-essential’ places; as a result, they won’t re-open until July, at the earliest. I read a while ago that the government did not originally intend to close churches: it was happy for them to remain open for private prayer. The bishops, however, petitioned for them to close them completely.
Why would they do this? Well, you might say, because of the infectious nature of the coronavirus, of course. But in respect of private prayer, with appropriate social distancing, face masks, and hand wipes this should not be a problem
In regards Catholic bishops, I suspect that our churches are closed because the majority of bishops – or perhaps just those at the top – do not think as fathers – even though that is what they are supposed to be, both to us and their priests; rather, they think as managers. Their priority is not to let anything happen that could damage the Church in the eyes of the world. Again, I suspect that they petitioned the government to close the churches because they were scared that if a priest or member of the faithful was proven to have contracted the coronavirus on Church property this would be a scandal to the world.
I ought to be really angry about this. I’m not. Firstly, it would be a scandal. Secondly, I have no proof that my suspicion is correct. Thirdly, given how many scandals have hit the Church over the past few years, I can understand their caution. I hope I’m wrong but it’s a nagging feeling that I can’t get rid of.
The Interpreter (7.8/10)
Be warned – I spoil the ending of the film below.
I watched this film straight after The American. First George Clooney, then Nicole Kidman – when it came to visions of beauty, my cup overflowed last week.
The eponymous character is Silvia Broome (Kidman) who works at the United Nations in New York. One night, she overhears what appears to be an assassination plot against Edmond Zuwanie, the controversial leader of a fictional African country named Matobo, who is about to visit the UN to give a speech. She reports what she heard but isn’t trusted by secret service agent Tobin Keller (Sean Penn).
It soon appears that Keller has good reason not to trust Silvia, for although she professes her belief in diplomacy, it turns out that that she wasn’t always so peace loving. Throughout the film, Silvia lies, fudges and dissembles in order to hide the truth from Keller. In the end, however, events force her to come clean. This coincides with Zuwanie’s arrival at the UN for his speech. Zuwanie is very nearly killed but not in the way you’d expect.
Ending Spoiler Alert!
In the denouement, Silvia herself tries to assassinate Zuwanie. She isn’t the ‘real’ assassin – she simply takes advantage of the situation after the real one is apprehended. Although Silvia has good reason to kill Zuwanie – he is responsible for the deaths of her family – I didn’t believe in her as an assassin. This is because the film cloaks her tragic background and subsequent hatred for him up until the moment of their confrontation. As a result, her character felt too lightweight for the role of killer. It was almost as if a character from a light drama had suddenly been dropped into a heavyweight thriller.