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Sophie's Choice


This 1982 film is a haunting modern tragedy about Sophie Zawistowska, a beautiful Polish Auschwitz survivor settled in Brooklyn after WWII.  She has intense relationships with a schizophrenic genius and an aspiring Southern writer.  An artful, immaculately performed and resonant drama, with an astonishing, commanding performance by the versatile Meryl Streep; a chilling portrayal of the banality of evil.  From the best-selling, autobiographical novel by William Styron.  The other two leads in the film are Peter MacNicol (as the Styron character) and Kevin Kline (as the schizophrenic).  Directed by Alan J. Pakula who also wrote the screenplay.


The film won an Academy Award for: Best Actress.


Other films by Pakula include: The Parallax View, All the President's Men, Presumed Innocent, The Pelican brief, and The Devil's Own. 


Streep's career is one of tremendous portrayals where she becomes the character.  Some of her best acting can be found in: The Deer Hunter, Manhattan, Kramer vs. Kramer, The French Lieutenant's Woman, Silkwood, Out of Africa, Ironweed, A Cry in the Dark,  and Postcards from the Edge.  In Schindler's List Spielberg gives us a glimpse of the horrors of the death camps.  In Sophie's Choice we see how the pain can go on and on years after a person survives the camps.


The key question is, how do we live through horror and survive?


The Negro Speaks of Rivers (to W.E.B. Dubois)  by  Langston Hughes


I've known rivers:

I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the

   flow of human blood in human veins.


My soul has grown deep like the rivers.


I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.

I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.

I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.

I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln

       went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy

       bosom turn all golden in the sunset.


I've known rivers:

Ancient, dusky rivers.


My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

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