Thursday, 11 November 2010

Sequence 69, Exterior: Somewhere in Flanders


CLIVE: Murdoch! do you know what this means?
MURDOCH: I do, sir. Peace. We can go home. Everybody can go home!
CLIVE: For me, Murdoch, it means more than that. It means that Right is Might after all. The Germans have shelled hospitals, bombed open towns, sunk neutral ships, used poison-gas - and we won! Clean fighting, honest soldiering have won! God bless you, Murdoch!
From the 1942 script for The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. More on this troublesome and complex film here, and more on the Colonel here. Did I mention troublesome?

Below is a fragment from Kevin Macdonald’s book, Emeric Pressburger, The Life and Death of a Screenwriter, on the consequences of the war’s end for Imre Pressburger in his home town of Temesvar (Timişoara) in the defeated Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Someone somewhere had decreed that he was to be Romanian or Serbian and he would have to accept it passively. For almost two years Temesvar was occupied by the Serbs, but ultimately, along with the rest of Transylvania, it was assigned to Romania at the infamous Trianon Treaty of 1920, when the allies, led by Britain, distributed about two-thirds of Hungary’s land mass and half its population to clamouring neighbours. It is said that Hungary’s Deputy Foreign Minister fainted when he saw the recoloured map.

Imre was now a Romanian - a foreigner in his own country. The pattern of his life as an eternal alien had begun. Without having to budge an inch from home, he had set out on the circuitous journey that would eventually lead him to England.
Finally a relevant Blimp clip via Bob.

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp script copyright © The Estates of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger 1994.

Emeric Pressburger, The Life and Death of a Screenwriter copyright © Kevin Macdonald 1994.

Added: George Szirtes on changing maps and remembrance.

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