Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Shadow That Lurks

I had just finished watching the episode Broken Souls of the fascinating British TV series Foyle's War, and sat very still for a long while.

Who would have thought that Dr Novak, a very kind psychiatrist who had gone a long way out of his way to protect his patient, could commit murder? He was a Jew whose family in Poland had been killed in a Nazi concentration camp. While still stunned by the enormity of his loss, he ran into a German POW and in a flare of rage mortally struck the captured soldier on the head with a rock.

Is there also a sinister shadow lurking inside me, unbeknown to me, waiting for the right moment to strike? What I find the most disturbing is the fortuitousness of the circumstances that led to the good doctor's fatal action. He had gone to see a Bing Crosby movie, but the print of that film had not arrived so they had shown something else including a newsreel about the camp where his family had perished. Unable to continue watching, he had left for a walk and encountered the German POW on whom he fatefully unleashed his rage.

If the print for that movie had come on time, then Dr Novak would not have committed murder. With a dark shadow lurking inside a man, all it takes is a ridiculous, chancy circumstance for tragedy to happen. It's scary, and it also reminds me not to rush into judging others.

By the way, if you haven't seen Foyle's War, I would cordially recommend it. Here's a link to its official website: http://www.foyleswar.com.

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