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Skammen / Shame. The finale. More about Shame. Ingmar Bergman's film was a reaction to the Vietnam war. That first television war was present in our homes every night. Many were baffled by Bergman's abstracted account of war. Bergman was not at home in political cinema, and he stayed outside political commitment in his films. Shame was as far as he could go: an act of solidarity towards people, individual human beings caught in the war. His contribution was to show with special insight the psychological process of degradation in war. Having seen Shame again after many years I find it relevant also for our contemporary Memorial Year 1918 in Finland. We are discovering important new emphases in our knowledge about our civil war a hundred years ago, including the fact that many decided to stay neutral, like Eva and Jan in Shame. (Jan even refuses to listen to the radio or watch television). But even people who stayed neutral were brutally punished. Shame is also relevant to our contemporary discussion about fake news in the age of Trump and Brexit. Indoctrination and propaganda may be reasons for Jan and Eva to ignore the news. Still they become victims: Eva is forced to give a television interview, and her voice is post-synchronized to fit occupation propaganda purposes. Also the finale resonates with today, our epic refugee crisis. The house of the musicians Jan and Eva has been burned, their musical instruments destroyed. They become refugees who escape in a boat with many others. When the motor fails the captain commits suicide by drowning. In the last images the boat gets stuck amid floating bodies.
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