Monday, 6 April 2009

Internal Affairs

To say to humanity in general that I understand how you feel is a safe thing to do because there will always be at least a few others who inhabit a similar dimension of experience. To say it to one other human being is always fraught with difficulty unless you are confident about that the similarities of experience, education, outlook and beliefs, significantly outweigh the differences and all the variables which make each set of memories and circumstances different. I begin to believe that I understand how most people feel about getting old in body and mind, about the increasing prospect of the ending of self conscious awareness, but of being aware that the end is happening, particularly if is long drawn out, unpleasant and painful. This is one definition of hell.

One definition of Hell was the subject of what should be the final film in the series of III Internal Affairs III. I faced problems in working out this was so, and only after looking at what the Internet was able to reveal. Hell for me is many things, and one of these does not know, particularly knowing that one will never know

It is sometime since seeing Internal Affairs I, which I saw in theatre, so I only remembered the main theme, two police cadets, one thrown out of the force, or was he, and another staying inside, I think, and one went to work for the bad guys but was really a good guy, and one who was a good guy was really a mole for the bad guys, but which was which? I usually do not have a problem with subtitles because I can relate the words on screen to the characters but I do have a problem when here are many characters and a complex story. What was worse with Internal Affairs III is the constant use of flashback and flash forwards, reprise of the first film, perhaps of the second, which I am not sure if I have seen on TV or DVD.

I also have a problem of differentiation between oriental faces as Orientals have with White Westerns, as we each lack the reference norms and familiarity which instantly reminds I know who you are from no I don't. Mind you I have this problem in general, for if I meet someone out of context, or after long period of time, I not only forget the name, which I can also do with those ongoing familiarity, but I cannot remember the context in which I knew them. This happened at my last haircut. I knew the individual well, in previous times and he knew me, but I have been unable to work out who and when and what, and this bugs me because I have now way of ever finding the answer.

Fortunately there is the internet and Wikipedia which explained that this is the story of one former mole turned cop who tries to whitewash his past and is not sure if a security agent (the internal affairs man) is also a mole who is responsible for the execution of anyone who can give him away. Each tries to learn the secrets of the other. The former's "sense of identity collapses as he begins to lose track of reality, wrestling with his deep guilt." (My school Shakespeare play for GCE English Literature, was "when shall we three meet again," Macbeth). At the end of the film after a bungled suicide attempt this I individual ends his days crippled and catatonic, lost inside his own mind and locked in his own personal hell. Now I understand all about this kind of hell from aspects of my own experience and from what happened to my mother and my aunt. Just as with the concept of the devil, hell can be such a reality that the kind of exaggerated graphic depictions of film, canvas, or book are unnecessary and misleading.

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