Archive | February, 2017


28 Feb

Last year I saw two movies with similar stories, one based on a true story and one not.  Anthropoid is a story about resistance during WWII in occupied Czechoslovakia.  Rogue One is a sort of prequel to Star Wars: A New Hope.  In Rogue One the main character is reluctant to join the Rebellion.  When someone joins a rebellion or resistance movement they are doing so knowing that they are risking their lives with no guarantee of success.  (Spoiler Alert.  If you haven’t seen either movie or don’t know about Reinhardt Heydrich then I would stop reading past this paragraph.)

In Anthropoid, two Czech resistance fighters parachute into their occupied homeland.  Early in the war the allies gave the Sudetenland (part of Czechoslovakia) to Nazi Germany.  There is some debate over whether or not this was a delaying tactic or done to stop war.  The Czech government in exile ordered the two resistance fighters to assassinate Reinhardt Heydrich, then 3rd in the Nazi hierarchy.  Heydrich was also sent to Prague to crush the resistance movement there.  He mostly succeeded.

The two Czech resistance fighters Jan Kubis and Jozef Gabcik meet with what is left of the resistance movement in Prague.  They debate but ultimately decide to go ahead with the dangerous mission.  They know that even if they succeed in assassinating Reinhardt Heydrich they will put their families and even occupied Czechoslovakia in danger.  Kubis and Gabcik also know that they may not make it out of Czechoslovakia alive.  The assassination succeeds, but it turns out to be a pyrrhic victory.  Thousands of Czechs are rounded up and shot.  Two villages are burnt to the ground with most of the population being sent to concentration camps or are shot.

Jan Kubis and Jozef Gabcik manage to escape after the assassination but they both are forced into hiding.  They eventually seek refuge in a church.  Before they can escape they are betrayed by one of their own.  The resistance fighters and the family who tried to hide them didn’t much outlive Reinhardt Heydrich.  The question most people ask about this is was it worth it?  Its tough for me to say because I was not in that situation.  I think it was because of how horrible a person Heydrich was.

In Rogue One Jyn Erso is separated from her family at a young age when her mother is killed and her father is forced to develop the Death Star.  Jyn Erso eventually decides to accept the risky mission of retrieving the Death Star plans.  Her and several other Rebels succeed in delivering the plans but sacrifice their lives doing so.

In both of the movies the main characters are resisting a brutal regime with a constant risk of death.  The characters both make their sacrifices for the greater good.  I am not comparing the situation the country is in now to Nazi Germany, far from it.  People resist in dire times at great risk.  We have the right to protest in this country.  We can speak out at any time without fear of prosecution or imprisonment.  There is no excuse for any of us to resist or speak out against something that is wrong especially considering people in worse situations have done so at greater peril.