By: Gabriela Yareliz
I watched Bon Voyage (Jean-Paul Rappeneau). It had been years since I had seen the film. It is one of intrigue. One where the upper class and average French life collides as the Germans are invading France. You see government officials in their reasoning for fleeing and surrendering, you see German spies, you see the protagonists trying to survive at all costs. I must say that one thing stood out to me: how little things have changed in the world.
The scenes of crowded streets with lines of cars evacuating to the next “safe” city. The upper class’ lack of concern, self-absorption, obsession with safety and simple desire to just return to Paris and go “back to normal” even if it means living with fascism. Those who were social climbers and how they lied and used others so long as it meant protection for themselves. The scenes where Germans walk into a cafe and start asking people for papers. Streets turned into refugee camps. Certain people paying for the mistakes of others. Communications blocked and censorship. The resistance. Secrecy. Manipulation and self-interest. It’s impressive to think that we can zoom in and take a look at different parts of the world, including the United States, and see these scenes played out in recent time. The absurdity of it all. The corruption of institutions. The lack of resolve from leadership. The lack of integrity from the people from which we need it the most. The way you learn to live with restrictions and learning who is trustworthy. Enduring what was once thought of as unthinkable.
Decades may pass, and names may change, but the world keeps on spinning, and so much stays the same. We keep taking the same trip.
Pack your bags, pay attention to the details as they unfold, and be ready. Bon voyage.