11 May, 2021

All The Movies I Didn't See

The most recent, Oscar-winning film on Churchill glorifies, like the others, an unambiguously bigoted ruler who was an enabler of the Bengal famine

Hollow Glory
Gary Oldman as Churchill
All The Movies I Didn't See

“As a portrait of leadership at its most brilliant, thoughtful and morally courageous, Darkest Hour is the movie we need right now,” raves the Washington Post’s film critic in his review. The actor who played Winston Churchill, the ­indomitable statesman who single-handedly saved democracy and freedom, and all those wonderful things, from Hitler’s onslaught, just won an Oscar for his performance. It must be a great movie.

I wouldn’t know. I haven’t watched it, and I don’t intend to. I often write about human suffering, but I don’t voluntarily subject myself to it. Why on earth would I want to pay good money to put myself through a two-hour hagiography of a man who lamented that people like me couldn’t be exterminated because we bred too fast? As his private secretary wrote, Churchill told him that “the Hindus were a foul race protected by their mere pullulation from the doom that is their due.’” If you don’t know what pullulation means, look it up. I did.

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