Blurring the lens

Having just seen the excellent musical Come From Away, I have very complex feelings. It is essentially an upbeat story about the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11.

But it doesn’t approach its subject directly. Rather than showing the event itself, it talks about an epi-event which involved many positive and life-affirming outcomes, and essentially demonstrated the indestructibility of the human spirit.

In this way, it reminded me a lot of Schindler’s List. That movie is essentially an upbeat story about the Holocaust.

But it doesn’t approach its subject directly. Rather than showing the event itself, it talks about an epi-event which involved many positive and life-affirming outcomes, and essentially demonstrated the indestructibility of the human spirit.

I wonder how many other works of art which build upon real life experiences of horror take the same approach. And I wonder whether the cost of blurring of the lens is worth the benefit that such a work will reach many more people than would a more direct and unflinching look into the abyss.

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