Sonata for a Good Man

It’s funny how watching different movies around the same time links similar ideas in your head. As I was watching ‘The Lives of Others’ on okto last night, a thought that kept running around was: Who is listening to the listener? (See previous entry: Who is watching the watchmen?)

The film speaks of the beauty and the power of writing and music to touch hearts, change minds and melt resolve. Just as how the pivot of the whole film turns on the moment Wielser listens to Dreyman play ‘Sonata for a Good Man’ on the piano. I also like this particular quote about Lenin and music that was mentioned in the movie. It is said that Lenin once remarked: “If I had listened to Beethoven’s Apassionata Sonata more, I might not have finished the Revolution.” Indeed, the power of music.

Speaking of power, my mind also wandered to the related themes of state power, individual freedom, and choice as they were so movingly portrayed in the show. And one other image popped up as well. A very famous one, and one that I have used when I was teaching an Elective called “Power in International Relations”. I remember asking my students to ponder this question as they looked at this picture: Where does power really lie here?

tiananmentankman2

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~ by irwin on March 17, 2009.

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