Sunday, January 29, 2017

Thoughts on the movie "Lincoln"

Criminals on Japan's death row can watch 4 movies in a month. Yoshihiro watched "Lincoln" and will be posting his impressions of it, which he wrote down.

September 7, 2016

Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States who declared the emancipation of slaves and led the North to victory in the Civil War. The main cause of the Civil War was the South's opposition to the North's movement to free the slaves. Therefore, it was said that emancipation and the end of the Civil War were mutually exclusive and that the two realities could never coexist. I felt as if the heart and character of Lincoln, as he worked towards this seemingly impossible goal, may hold a key to solving the problems of war and terrorism currently going on in the world today.

"Things which are equal to the same thing are equal to each other." There was a scene in which Lincoln spoke of this belief which he shared with the mathematician Euclid from over 2000 years ago. Lincoln says, as if questioning himself, that Euclid declared this to be a self evident truth. "We begin with equality. That's the origin, isn't it? That's balance, that's fairness, that's justice," he continues, and makes a decision to work towards the seemingly impossible goal of the unification of North and South.

I was  surprised and moved by the sense of justice he espoused because it uproots the justice found in the stark contrast of good versus evil seen in war, terrorism and cult religion and replaces it with the notion of equality as justice.

There are many episodes throughout the movie in which he makes offhanded remarks implying that this is not simple equality or ideology. I felt that this is not a set form of justice, rather, it has no form, and encompasses and ties together a myriad of contradictions.

I learned for the first time the historical context in which a "government of the people, by the people, for the people," a democratic reality which Lincoln risked and spent his life protecting, came to be and flourish.

I deeply feel the sinfulness of the high crime that I committed in the name of salvation and the value of life. I cannot help praying that this kind of incident never happens again.

Yoshihiro Inoue