Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Girl in the Café: An Odd Combination of Romance and Global Politics (Movie review) by Edwin L. Young, PhD

The Girl in the Cafe
Reviewed by Edwin Young

You have not heard of this movie, “The Girl in the Café,” have you? If not, well, see it and you will know why.
After meeting Gina (Kelly Macdonald) in a café, lonely civil servant Lawrence (Bill Nighy) asks her to join him at the G8 Summit in Iceland. These two shy outsiders hit it off almost instantly, but their attraction is tested when Gina's personal convictions contradict Lawrence's professional duties and the modus operandi of the G8 leaders. Macdonald earned an Emmy for her performance in this made-for-television movie. It has an overarching plot about the G8 but that also has a parallel plot that charts the origin and disintegration of the endearing May-December romance between Gina and Lawrence.

This is a great movie about a crucial issue in our new, globalized world. While it has a simple plot, it grips your attention with every subtle inflection of emotion and each surprising, modestly spoken, but incisive confrontation by the ingénue outsider, Gina, with the heady, sophisticated, dignified G-8 political leaders. The highlights of the movie, for me, were the tensely awkward moments as these confrontations take place. They were almost humorous had it not been for the glaring gravitas of the issues being addressed by the G8. In an officious, clandestine, sterile, dehumanized, and sanctimonious manner, these men and women are literally charting the course for the entire globe for the next fifty years. While their issues are scaled down and tailored for a brief TV movie, they, nevertheless, contain a simple, persuasive representation of the political philosophy of a group of leaders who now have absolute power over the rest of the world. This power extends, unfortunately for them, to the third world countries made desperately impoverished by the wealthy nations whom the G8 are representing. Most of those who are dispassionately doing the complex intellectual work for these ‘Lords of the Universe’, and therefore determining the G8’s policies, are unelected, highest-echelons civil servants from the eight world dominant nations. This is the most exclusive club in the world. I was spurred on to learn more about this G8. While it is brief and adapted to a television audience, it, nevertheless, gives a revealing insight into that lofty, inhumane, but pretentiously humane, world.

It was produced by a British, independent film company. As an independent film, it is part of the growing trend of ‘alternative’ movies. As with alternative energy, alternative life styles, alternative-organic-farmer to market foods, alternative medicine, and the internet as a source alternative information, this new generation of films is part of that burgeoning new world of alternatives. These alternative movements are juxtaposed against what is in the mainstream and owned and incessantly promoted on the outlets of the mainstream media that is also owned by this newer version of the ancient Feudal States and controlled by the new Corprocrats. Those of us who are New Green World Denizens must learn to change our habits which have been shaped by those psychopathic, exploitative, dehumanizing, multinational corporations and their lackeys in D C’s Center of Corruption.

Author bio:

Edwin is a 76 year old, retired, psychotherapist/institution reformer. His greatest satisfaction came from reforming many juvenile correctional institutions, a maximum security prison, a West Texas mental hospital, and the huge Job Corps in San Marcos, Texas. All in all there were thirteen institutions that he successfully reformed. In the last year of his PhD program, Edwin was one of the two PhD graduate students to be awarded the annual University Research Institute grant. His dissertation committee said his was the longest, best, and most complex in the history of the department. Since retiring, Edwin spends his time writing. His site is: The Natural Systems Institute.

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