23 May 2007

Romulus, My Father

Tonight I saw the film adaptation of Raimond Gaita's Romulus, My Father.

I throughly recommend it, especially for the performances of Eric Bana as Romulus and Kodi Smit-McPhee as young Raimond.

If you see the movie, you'll probably be interested in reading the book or listening to it read by Raimond Gaita on audio tape (unabridged) or CD.

The movie outlines, and the book elaborates upon, the author's turbulent childhood and his relationship with his father, who suffered and grieved more than most people, but who retained a solid core of humanity. Raimond spoke of this in the eulogy he delivered at Romulus' funeral:

We sometimes express our most severe judgment of other people by saying that we will never again speak to them.
I never heard my father say that nor can I imagine him saying it. That, perhaps more than anything else, testifies to his unqualified sense of common humanity with everyone he met. His severe judgment often caused pain, but the simple honesty of its expression, together with his unhesitating acceptance of those whom he judged so severely , convinces me that he never intentionally caused suffering to anyone. He was truly a man who would rather suffer evil than do it. (p 207).

If you've read this far, I think there's a good chance that you'll find the book challenging, stimulating and, in non-material senses, rewarding.

No comments: