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Katie van Schaijik

Imagining communism

Oct. 22, 2010, at 4:02pm

Saturday evening Jules and I hosted a reading circle gathering centered on Vaclav Havel’s great and influential essay, The Power of the Powerless. The essay deals with the web of lies that had engulfed eastern European society under the domination of communist ideology and Soviet military power—the suffering it caused, and the struggle for truth and freedom that could bring it down.

Havel points out in the essay that the then-state of the east should serve as a warning to the west, which contains within its own alienated, de-spiritualized, consumerist culture the seeds of the same human catastrophe.

One way to arm ourselves for the resistance is to feel our way imaginatively into

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Katie van Schaijik

Great movies about life behind the wall

Nov. 9, 2009, at 12:55pm

There are many others, but for me, these convey the spiritual reality most brilliantly and movingly.

1. East/West
2. The Lives of Others
3. The Inner Circle
4. White Nights
5. Eminent Domain

Of these, White Nights is the easiest watching, and suitable for family viewing. East/West is devastating. Beautiful and brilliant and devastating. The Lives of Others (which—warning—contains some rather raw sexual images) is the newest, having been released to international acclaim in 2005, I believe.

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