I have not been so emotionally charged by a film in a long time, so full marks for The Book Thief (2014), as it delivered as powerful an impact as reading the book itself several years ago. Watching the Nazis burning books before their energy turned towards actually killing the Jews, was a reminder of that an inevitable precursor of the extermination of knowledge, freewill and self empowerment of the curious and questioning mind.
I write this sitting in my home which is filled wall to wall with books and I am grateful for these times of freedom, at least here in England, where I can read whatever I like, where I can live however I want, say what I feel like saying, and have complete control of my choices.
But I also wonder about the growing dark side that such liberty brings with her. Many now ‘live in the moment’ – that misused, manipulated aphorism, believing that there are no consequences for their actions. They over spend, over indulge, disrespect others and the planet and live a selfish existence, just because they can.
It seems to me that instead of the rationed, poverty stricken, controlled and fearful place where we resided in Europe 75 years ago, we have shifted so much the other way that now the excess is causing another kind of devastating destruction.
I encourage all to go and see The Book Thief and perhaps then reflect on how lucky we are to be free to read, and indeed write, whatever we wish, at least in this country and in these times. And to think further how to use that very same liberty and freedom of choice to care for ourselves, others and the planet with more thoughtfulness and consideration.