Monday, March 10, 2008
I couldn't help myself.......
I finally had to read Coraline. After reading 3 blog reviews of it in the past couple of weeks and seeing the trailer, I knew I had to just do it. I don't know what I was waiting for! Coraline was a fantastic, frightening, escapist read and I think it took me less that 2 hours to finish it. Coraline is a young girl who moves into a flat with her parents and discovers a parallel but creepy world on the other side of a mysterious door. There are parents that look like hers, but have buttons for eyes. They want to keep Coraline with them and when she doesn't want to stay they try everything in their power to make her. Coraline is amazingly brave. Naturally she is terrified, but she is able to keep her mind clear and focus on the task at hand - saving her family and some other unfortunate souls. This is obviously a very dark book, but there is plenty of humor, too. Musical mice, theater-loving dogs, and a very special talking cat . This book is meant for children, obviously older ones as this would be much too frightening for the younger set.
I watched a pretty amazing film last week called Water. Water is set in India in 1938 and tells the story of a young girl who has been married off, widowed, and sent to live out the rest of her life in a widow's ashram at age 8. She becomes close to another widow, a young woman forced into prostitution and the film shows what happens when this woman attempts to escape from her fate. The film is beautifully shot and though the subject matter is grim, the music and the setting are a joy. It took the writer of Water many years to have this film made because there was so much protest in India. She persevered and we have her to thank for providing us a chance to see this other way of life. Unfortunately, these practices go on, there are still widow's ashrams and child brides. As a mother, watching this film brought up many emotions in me about my own child. I am reminded of the scenes in Snow Flower and the Secret Fan when the young girl's feet are bound. I am reminded of the interview of an African woman planning to have her daughter circumcised because that is simply what is done. She knew it was against the law, but was ambivalent about the medical complications that could occur and stated that she believed it didn't hurt much. I come back to this story, when a mother and father send their child away to a life of sorrow. It all makes me want to give my daughter the education, knowledge and drive to fly away and succeed in this life on her own terms, to be everything she can be. I cannot imagine living in a culture that would force me to mutilate her body or send her to a hopeless life far away. I thank God I don't have to.