This is the second time I watched War and Peace directed by Sergei Bondarchuk, 1966, in order to compare with War and Peace TV miniseries BBC 2016 . I did not read the book in original, but in the not “very good” Vietnamese translation, I suspect. Unlike “Sebastopol” in which the anti-war message is prominent, strong, and deep, there are many things along with anti-war entangle with one another in this Leon Tolstoy master piece.
I did not ignore all the aristocrats’ romances in the novel, and in the movies, but to me they are so trivial to the wasteful lavish life-style, the hypocrisy, the pretentiousness of civility, the facade of patriotism and civilization of feudalistic Russian (in fact this is true to all of ians, ers, ese in this matter) aristocrats, nobles, royals, the top 10% of the society who saw war as a path to honor, heroism, and glory, who were living on the sweat and blood of the rest, but were indifferent to the suffering, hardship and miserable life of the rest. These kinds of “noble” creatures would never care about the life of the rest, much less love peace! And I found this still is so true to this day everywhere, in every society. That’s why crooks always become “leaders” and war prevail over peace all the time.
Yet, War and Peace has a kind of happy ending… for the nobles of course. The whole story is about the life of five noble families anyway. After all, unlike Howard Zin “The people History of The USA”, according to mainstream history books, history and civilization are all about the life of the top 10%! What would one expect otherwise?
I myself lived through the Vietnam War and all I saw in that war was idiocy, madness, an utmost waste of life and resources.. All the destruction , but worst of all is the destruction of humanity in each of us, regardless of one is at the frontier, in the battle or at the home front. This is the worst act of dehumanization.
It’s rare to hear a little bit of truth from murderers and liars, but Eisenhower reportedly said “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed” I am not sure if these words really were from his heart. I don’t bet on this.
But I do believe it was from the heart of Smedley Butler also once was a murderer, as he confirmed War is a Racket, and Randolph Bourne proved that “War is the health of the State”. These two men told the truth, but sadly few of us believe them.
“War and Peace”, like “Les Miserables” try to tell people, human kind something seriously wrong about them, something very seriously flaw in the way they think and live, in the way they treat one another. But these efforts of the great minds have been treated by human kind as just some other entertaining stories.