Monthly Archives: September 2013

Niqab, freedom and cultural tolerance

In the last few weeks Britain (or at least parts of it) can’t seem to stop discussing the place Muslim  tradition of women’s covering their faces should have in our society.  Judge Peter Murphy’s ruling that a woman on a witness stand must uncover her face, several rulings against Muslim teenage girls  banned from wearing the veil at school and the Birmingham Metropolitan Collage lifting a ban on niqab seem to be going in completely opposite directions.

I guess it illustrates fairly well how  people can’t make up their mind about their priorities on this issue – me included. Continue reading Niqab, freedom and cultural tolerance


Die Wand – The Wall

What would you do if you woken up in an idyllic valley in Alps and realised that there is an invisible wall separating you from the rest of the world?

Would you scream and shout? Would you do anything to break the barrier? Would you try dig under it or climb over?

Or after seeing people frozen on the other side of the wall would you give up, and slowly accept your fate?

That’s what the German-Austrian film The Wall is about. An unnamed woman wakes up one lovely morning and realises that her hosts, an older couple who own the lodge she stays in, did not come back from the village. By midday, worried, she heads down the valley to see what could have happened. But halfway down the road she bumps into a wall – literally. An invisible barrier does not allow her to go forward. She is trapped, and has no idea what happened outside in the world. She’s on her own.

The film has an amazing atmosphere. The landscapes and the shooting is excellent, but it’s Martina Gedeck who really makes this film. Lost at first in her reality, close to losing her mind, she focuses on survival – planting potatoes, learning to hunt, harvesting a meadow of hay for a cow. From the perspective of long months in loneliness she writes a diary to not forget. To keep her mind occupied and to ward of insanity.

I kept thinking – what would I dream about? Would I wake up screaming every morning, reliving my existence even in the dream? Or would I dream of the world as it was, of freedom to go wherever I wanted and of company of others…?

Would you try harder to get out, even if getting out might have meant death? Or would you also focus on survival, facing the reality one day at a time?

363 days left

Scotland Referendum 2014

Yes or No?