Family Movie Night

By Karyn Bowman

US flag bearers ladyheart

Image by Ladyheart

Memorial Day makes us think of the service members who have fought for the rights and freedom we all enjoy in this country.

We enjoy various ceremonies that names the dead from various wars, we watch wreaths being set at tombs of unknown soldiers that represents all who are lost in various conflicts.

Maybe you have traveled to Washington D. C. and visited the Vietnam Wall or the Korean war memorial. Both, to me, are the most emotional and expressive artworks depicting the costs of war. The Wall is haunting with its seemingly unending panels listing the names of the people who lost their lives in the Vietnam War.

But the Korean War memorial is unreal with its slightly larger the life figures walking in a group among plantings that make it almost appear as if the men are walking through a fog. It is eerie and unsettling. It makes me feel sad for these young men as they travel where they don’t know and with no knowledge of what to expect when they get there.

So I was surprised this week when my son picked up Snowden, the Oliver Stone movie about the young NSA worker who exposed secrets of the spy community that both endangered assets in the field and informed Americans that they were all under surveillance through social media and email and anything we might have done through electronic media.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives an eerie performance as the young man who felt his government was doing something wrong and it had to be stopped. Snowden weighs what to do while continuing to do the work he has been hired to perform. We go from his time in the service when an injury left him unable to be in special services to the time when he has decided to let go of the information and eventually travels to Russia.

SnowdenTo be honest, I listened to the movie while doing other work in the next room. To me, his conversations sounded as if he was a person dealing with paranoia until we find out that maybe it wasn’t. I find it strange how some people’s paranoid thoughts came true with this scandal. We fear overstep with the government and we fear not doing enough to stop it.

Now you may want to debate if Snowden was right or wrong in his actions. Some of the material he released exposed intelligence information that did put people in danger. However, Snowden also allowed the American people to know that they need to be need to be more careful. How they use social media, what is said in emails. Everything that we do online or on our computers can be hacked, can be looked into by our government at anytime. We found out that various world leaders were being surveilled without notice.

I find that this movie brings up discussion. You can’t help but wonder if you would do the same thing that Snowden has done or would you do it differently? Is the cost of doing what you think is the right thing worth it?

After watching parts of this movie and watching the commentary, I still don’t know what is the right answer.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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