WW2 Relevance

|   23 February 2012

Things Change

Filming in Red Square, Moscow, 1989.

An old colleague of mine was clearing out some junk and found this photo. It’s me in Red Square not long before Communism fell and the Soviet Union was disbanded.

I loathed the Soviet Union.  From the trivial reasons – the food was appalling and so was the service in hotels and just about everywhere else – to the important ones – this was a state that imprisoned people just for speaking their minds and preached ‘equality’ whilst the bosses lived in luxury. I’ve never seen a more ‘unequal’ society in my life.

But this photo is interesting to me not just because of the wild glasses I’m wearing – very fashionable at the time – nor because it shows me standing next to a film camera and we’ve only shot on video for the last twenty years, but because if captures a particular moment that I remember well.

There was no sense I felt at the time I was there – at the moment this photo was taken – that the whole structure of Soviet life would shortly collapse. Everything there still seemed so certain. And in that respect it represents my own experience of something that countless eye witnesses from WW2 have told me. That life can change in a moment. Life is fleeting and uncertain and yet we try and pretend that it is lengthy and fixed.

It’s like a famous Sufism. A king asks his wise men to boil down all of the wisdom in the world into two words. They work for years and years and eventually come up with what they think is the one eternal truth by which we all have to live. And the two words that express it are: Things change.

One Response to “Things Change”

  1. Interested says:

    Things definetly change for the worse in a society that was as corrupt as the USSR was. I just hope our society doesn’t fold the same way…