Unadulterated hatred. It fueled the Cold War. It took rational thought from the minds of lawyers, politicians, and even the everyday American. Fear overtook a nation and created an intense paranoia that led to injustice, inhumane acts, and a legacy of distrust towards people from the eastern parts of Europe.
Watching Bridge of Spies was an emotional experience for me. I don’t mean that I cried or that I laughed. The emotions the film brought out in me are from my core. It brought out my values – equity, inclusion, harmony, and justice – and they were on the line. A few people have told me that my values conflict with one another. That may be, but I believe in the magical Utopia where human beings live together as friends and neighbors rather than competitors or even worse, enemies. This magical world does not exist. Reality is more like the Cold War depicted in the film.
Bridge of Spies is set in the 1950s, in the middle of the Cold War. Rudolf Abel is arrested as a spy. At the time, all Americans were teaming up to hate the Soviets and the general consensus among the people was to put Abel to death. In order to save face and pretend to be just Americans, James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) is recruited to defend the “traitor.” The story that ensues is one of justice, negotiation, critical thinking, and a better world. I don’t know if Matt Charman and the Coen brothers got all the facts straight in their script, but I found the film incredibly believable.
At times, we claim to be a nation above the rest, that we are the most developed country, and that we know how to treat people the best. But then we take one look at history and can see that we are an imperfect nation, full of fear, cowardice, and bureaucratic political moves. To be honest, we don’t even have to look very far in our history. We can just read the daily news.
Bridge of Spies is worth the full price of admission. Heck, I might even be swayed to go watch it in theaters again. I highly recommend that people who care about justice, history, action, and critical thought go see this film. And afterwards, let me know what you thought.
Tata for now.