Just finished watching the classic Italian film, "The Bicycle Thief." Who makes movies like that these days? Definitely not Hollywood. My mom was disappointed that it didn't have a Hollywood ending. Why is America addicted to Hollywood endings? Why do we need to know that everything is going to work out fine, when often things get worse before they get better? Who knows how bad things got for the family, but we also can imagine that they lived through this tough period and eventually came back strong. We shouldn't have to depend on Hollywood to sum everything up for us and show us that everyone lived happily ever after. We all know that is never the reality. Basically this film took place in what looked like the Depression, and in Italy, one of the poorer countries in Europe at the time. So basically the film represented a period in time, when life was tough for everyone. It showed a man in his moment of desperation. It also showed the respect and love the boy had for his father. I won't give away any more of the film if you haven't seen it. Just put it on your Netflix queue like I did and you won't be disappointed.
Also, after having a heated discussion with the tall dutchman (who I believe will never call me again, and it's probably best that way) about Sweden, of all things, I had to go online to check a few facts. Basically I have always had soft spot in my heart for the home of ABBA, and with my good friend Laura living there, and reporting back to me how much she loves it there, and what great benefits the country gives its citizens, I have had as much of a preoccupation with moving there as I do with Vancouver. When I visited Stockholm in 1999, I was enamored with the city. It is so clean. Everyone bikes everywhere. There's lots of water and natural beauty and the people are open and progressive (just like SF and Van City). So the dutchman argues with me that the winters are horrible, everyone drinks and the suicide rate is highest in Sweden than anywhere else in Europe. Well that information is wrong. And you can check the suicide rates for the entire world right here. Looks like Lithuania, Russia and Belarus top the list, with Borat's Kazakhstan a runner up.
I think I had to look up the rates because I was curious after seeing The Lives of Others what the suicide rate in Cuba is now. But it's not that high in comparison to the former Soviet Union. However, Fidel could be lying to us, because according to him, everyone is doing just fine on that godforsaken island.
Another thing that gets me is this: In what we call Germany, they refer to their country as Deutschland, and their language as Deutsch. And in Holland, they refer to their country as Nederland and their language is Nederlands. In France and Spain, Germany is Allemagne and Alemania and the language is Allemand and Aleman. And Holland is Les Pays Bas and Holandia, but the language is Neerlandais and Holandes. But for England, it's Angleterre and Inglaterra (direct translations), France and Francia, Espagne and Espana. Why the confusion with the Dutch and the Deutsch? And where did Germany and Alemania come from? It doesn't make any sense to me! Can someone please explain?