WHITE HOT, BLINDING HATRED WAS something I rarely encountered for most of my life. The occurrence that comes to mind, where I came face to face with hatred, was when I was on vacation. Several years ago, I had traveled out of state and was exploring the main downtown area of a capital city, when I came upon a peaceful demonstration or rally. I was trying to stay on the sidewalk but there were too many people standing around, so I stepped into the street. As I made my way through, I came upon a grassy area nestled between two buildings. There was orange colored netting, the kind you would see at construction sites, strung across the front length. Behind it was a group of individuals that were holding up signs that they bobbed up and down, while they were pointing and shouting at the demonstrators walking by. I realized they would take me for a demonstrator because I was walking in the street. Normally I would not give it a second thought; however, when I started reading what their signs were saying, I contemplated moving to the other side of the street. Their signs were filled with vile rhetoric, along with some attempted colorful artwork. Someone nearby must have said something to them because suddenly, they started yelling and swearing at the crowd that was around me. The intensity of their yelling and screaming was rapid, to the point I had to go off course and find a side street to bypass the turmoil. THE HATRED ON DISPLAY AND the horrible things that group was saying has stayed with me for all these years. On that trip I did watch the news to see if I could get an understanding of the issues involving the demonstrators and protesters. I could not understand how someone could get so angry, to the point of screaming out things like wishing a person dead or burning in hell. If the demonstrators were marching to change a perception, a law, or to gain recognition; I wanted to know how that would affect the yelling protesters. Based on the things I heard, I had a feeling the protesters would not accept whatever was taking place. I have gotten angry from time to time; but I cannot see myself ever going to such an extreme level to act upon it in such a way. Yet, I am seeing more extreme displays of hatred the past few years than ever before. Allowing hate to grow and fester will make a person act out in such an extreme way that could be harmful; see for yourself in this dramatic, mystery thriller. BECAUSE OF HIS FORGETFULNESS ZEV Guttman, played by Christopher Plummer (The Last Station, All the Money in the World), had a list of instructions to follow once he escaped from the nursing home. Would he understand what he was supposed to do once he reached his destination? With Kim Roberts (I’m Not There, Rookie Blue-TV) as Paula, Amanda Smith (The Cradle, Hellmington) as Cele, Martin Landau (Ed Wood, Crimes and Misdemeanors) as Max Rosenbaum and Henry Czerny (Ready or Not, Clear and Present Danger) as Charles Guttman; this film festival winner avoided mediocrity due to Christopher’s performance. With such a high level of acting skill, the others in the cast did not stand out as much. I thought the story was intriguing and felt the script provided tense and dramatic moments; however, I would have appreciated the characters being provided with more depth. There were a couple of manipulative and slow scenes, I felt; however, the continual suspense buildup kept my interest up. As I stated earlier, Christopher made this a better film and I was curious to see how hatred could motivate a person to act out in such a way.
Little did I know when I moved into my house there was a future role model living next door, who would alter my journey in life. My neighbor was an elderly woman in her early 80’s, living alone in her house. In summer she would be out in the high heat, mowing her lawn with an old push wheel mower. Autumn would come and she would be up on a ladder by the side of her house, cleaning out the fallen leaves from her gutters. Though I offered to help, she would be out shoveling her sidewalks after every snowstorm in winter. I wanted to be just like her when I grew old. Because of her spry active lifestyle, I altered the way I taught my fitness and yoga classes. The focus changed towards functional movements. I would tell my classes the reason we were doing a certain movement was so we could lift ourselves out of a chair, when we were 80 years old. In his first leading role James Cromwell’s (The Queen, Babe) character Craig Morrison could certainly be considered a role model. Based on a true story, Craig and his wife Irene, played by Genevieve Bujold (Anne of the Thousand Days, Coma), had been happily married for several decades. With Irene beginning to show signs of dementia, Craig decided to build a house that would be more manageable for both of them. Just like his father before him, Craig planned to build the house himself with his own plans; however, there was this little piece of paper called a permit that would challenge him in more ways than he could have ever imagined. James and Genevieve made such a beautiful couple; I was absorbed into their story. The acting was superb as we saw how their daily lives were being affected with her forgetfulness. This was one of those movies that was kept simple because the script was sufficient enough to let the viewer feel the emotional power of its words. I not only enjoyed the beauty of this film festival winner, I appreciated the way this drama reminded me of my dear old neighbor.
3 1/3 stars