Thursday, October 05, 2006


This week I watched Little Dieter Needs to Fly, which taught me a lot of important lessons about life, survival, and what's really important. Mainly, it taught me that I would make a really lousy prisoner of war. As Dieter told the story of his crash and subsequent capture in Laos, he was surrounded by actors wearing military clothes and holding weapons, but generally standing on passively. He continued his narration as they marched through the forest. For much of this time, he was handcuffed, though his hands were free during certain shots so that he would be able to demonstrate some sort of process or tactic used in the jungle. He showed how to make a bamboo fan to catch large bugs in the trees to eat. He demonstrated how to make a fire out of two pieces of bamboo. He reenacted drinking bad water from a stagnant pond. These vignettes were masterfully cut in with footage from Army survival training videos that depicted a very cheery situation featuring a handsome young private who sauntered through the jungle fully loaded with provisions wearing an artfully crafted leaf poncho. It made me want a leaf poncho too.

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