Friday, 29 March 2013

just u.n. me or who is john galt?

In the tradition of On the Beach, Reds and other poignant but socially ambitious and uncomfortable cinematic works, my mother referred us to a long buried film made for television to which much talent was again given freely under the scripting of Rod Serling, of Twilight Zone fame, called A Carol for Another Christmas.

The story is an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and champions the work of the United Nations over the contemporary stance of American foreign policy of selective isolation and demonization, retelling the consequences of hum-bug through an embittered industrialist who lost a son, killed in action, and has abandoned all hope for international cooperation or reconciliation. The Ghost of Christmas Future shows the father how prevailing attitudes will lead to a nuclear apocalypse not too far from the present. Written during the Vietnam War and Bay-of-Pigs invasion, it was hardly a time for inspiring optimism and going against the grain or scare and accommodating optimism, like those other forgotten but timely examples did, it was never aired again until this last Christmas. In times of sabre-rattling, I wonder if it was some sense of national pride or aversion to the sombreness that made these movies go away without honours and what statements rallied behind say about a civilisation.