Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Points Of View

About a year ago I read a book of essays by New York based writers on their first reactions to 9/11. The selection had authors of myriad nationalities to create the cultural vibe of the multi-ethnic New York City. It was an engrossing read. The lack in qualitative uniformity in writing was more than made up for by the sheer diversity of perspective.

More recently, I read a Woody Allen interview where he talks about 9/11 as a film-maker. A non-conformist and anti-establishment view as maybe expected from Allen but not something one can disagree with.

This one may actually stay with me for long after media is done regurgitating the event ad nauseum in a bid to imbue it with importance out of proportion to it's place in history.

SPIEGEL: So is this one of the reasons why we don't see any hint of what happened on September 11 in your recent films? Would your fans be scared?

Allen: No, it's because I don't find political subjects or topical world events profound enough to get interested in them myself as an artist. As a filmmaker, I'm not interested in 9/11. Because, if you look at the big picture, the long view of things, it's too small, history overwhelms it. The history of the world is like: he kills me, I kill him. Only with different cosmetics and different castings: so in 2001 some fanatics killed some Americans, and now some Americans are killing some Iraqis. And in my childhood, some Nazis killed Jews. And now, some Jewish people and some Palestinians are killing each other. Political questions, if you go back thousands of years, are ephemeral, not important. History is the same thing over and over again.

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