If you find yourself sniffling and ill in our apartment you are guaranteed three things…soup, ice cream and unlimited access to Netflix Watch-Instantly.
On Sunday I woke up with no voice. Originally I blamed our fun-packed weekend at Steam Engine Days (related blog post coming soon), but once I started sniffling, sneezing, and coughing, I knew it wasn’t my late nights and constant laughter with friends that had left me voiceless. Lucky for me I have a yonce’ (short for fiance’) that knows how to nurse someone back to health. All it took was a little chicken noodle soup a $.99 Arizona Fruit Punch (they cure anything, seriously) and a day at home with the first season of Hoarders. If you haven’t heard of or seen this show—then you are really in for a treat. The reality TV- meets documentary- meets intervention series lets you inside the lives of Hoarders—-people who suffer from a debilitating compulsion to gather and hoard objects or things. By the time I got to the third episode and met the couple that shared their home with over 40 cats (along with 35 dead cats) I felt less likely to sneeze and more likely to vomit….but I was totally hooked.
I thought Josh would arrive home from work and be appalled to find me hooked on this disgusting and disturbing show—but we watched two more episodes and he admitted that the show had a certain sick entertainment factor. Not to mention it made us overly-concerned about areas of our own apartment that might be a tad messy….after watching the 5th episode in which a woman hoards rotten food we cleaned out our entire fridge.
After getting our fixation of Hoarders, we moved on to a movie. I’ll admit I’m a bit of a WWII Movie Junkie, and that there’s a good chance if you put one on I’m going to say it was awesome (because its about WWII, what isn’t awesome about that, I love WWII). In 2006 I had the opportunity to travel through Central Europe (Germany, Poland, Austria and the Czech Republic) and study WWII firsthand—-with the trip focusing on the Holocaust I visited many of the concentration camps throughout Central Europe, an experience I doubt anyone easily forgets. Perhaps that is part of why I so greatly enjoyed our movie choice last night, Defiance.
Defiance is based on the true story of three Jewish brothers, the Bielski’s, who manage to escape Nazi persecution even though their entire family was shot to death. The three brothers start a small make-shift regime to fight against the Nazis, and soon find themselves with hundreds of followers (both men and women) who were able to survive the Holocaust by building forts and shelters in the dense forests of Belarussia (now Belarus). The film only covers the first six to nine months of their story—-as the small villages and Jewish ghettos are being invaded and burned. It shows how the group came to be founded and how they manged to survive their first winter—it also shows several scenes in which they fight the Nazis—-and win.
What was most surprising was to see them barely survive their first winter in the film (I was in Poland in January and I can guarantee you I wouldn’t have survived one night outside)—-and then see the end text roll up on the screen and say that the group “remained hidden in the woods for two more years”. Not only that, but by the time they were rescued at the wars end their number had grown to over 1200. Whether you’re a fan of WWII films or not, Defiance is a film about human strength and courage. It’s a bit slow at the beginning, but I promise by the time you see Daniel Craig killing Nazis and saving children, you’ll be enthralled by the reality of the film. Don’t be discouraged by critics that get all haughty about inaccuracies in the film—I read more than one review that tried to slam Daniel Craig for having blond hair and blue eyes and playing a Jewish militant—but guess what? In real life Tuvia Bielski did have blond hair and blue eyes. Just a few suggestions for the next time you find yourself curled up on the couch and sniffling.