Saturday, April 20, 2013

Too many strawberries will kill you

Sara is picking up wild strawberries. She's in a hurry fill up her basket, because it's uncle's Aron's nameday and that's supposed to be his present. Unfortunately, Sara is not left in peace and the womanizer of a cousin steals a kiss. Her basket falls down, strawberries spilling on the ground and before she has the time to deal with it, the Gong sounds, summons everyone inside the house. It's brunch time. 

A blonde neat girl picking Wild Strawberries (1957) and other innocent childhood memories, together with bizarre dreams are becoming the topic of Dr. Isak's Borg visual experiences. Ingmar Bergman relates strawberries with innocence and slight erotic tension and longing for the past, so much longing.

-How many kids will show, do you think?
-It's worth taking a look.
-I mean, a lot of kids will show because of that "Strawberry Statement".
-The Dean...he said, our telling him we got an opinion is like telling him we like strawberries.
- I love strawberries.
-Strawberries, what you got against strawberries?
-Must be their color.

Some piece of nonsensical dialogue -the only part of the film that relates to strawberries whatsoever- from a cult seventies film that took on the student unrest at Columbia University on '68, loosely based on the non-fiction book by James Simon Kunen. The film has an unforgettable soundtrack -Circle Game in the opening credits- and not an even profile overall. Both the film and the book are called The Strawberry Statement; symbolism in the title is obvious, the above dialogue taken into consideration.

That was all the famous strawberries in the world, I guess, until couple of days ago. The significant ones, at least. But, a series of unfortunate events, aligned with the sad and worsening day-by-day situation in Greece, when it comes to immigration issues and treatment by adherents of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, made any imaginative scenario seem dull, if not bringing up yawning.

According to the case of 17th April 2013, a number of immigrants, mainly from Baglandesh, who have been working in the strawberry fields of Manolada in Greece, dared to ask for their payment for their six month work. What did they got in return, for this far-fetched demand? They got shot. Outrageous as it sounds, that was the employers' response to their legal right to get paid; apparently, they had slavery in mind, rather than human or legal rights. The story goes even further down to the rabbit whole: when the injured immigrants were brought to the hospital, police showed up to bust them and repatriate them as soon as possible, so that they won't be present to assist as witnesses in the trial of their inhuman bosses.

In the end, due to citizens' outcry and media exposure, the case took a seemingly normal turn. The injured immigrants will not be deported, some of the perpetrators were arrested and plenty of companies that used to sell these #BloodStrawberries are now cutting off their deals with the local provider.

Now, what I do expect from some smart European director, or even from a Hollywood producer is to have a script ready (on my desk) by next week. This story is too good to be forgotten in the piles of recycled newspapers. And. Will you ever feel the same pleasure again, when eating strawberries? Are they not inherently connected to blood taste from now on? Is not the era of innocence gone forever?

No comments: