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Remembering Peace Advocate & Writer Amos Oz


There's message comes from NPR sponsor Comcast. Comcast values your time. That's why you can schedule to our appointment windows, including nights and weekends that way. You can spend more time doing what you love. Comcast working to make things. Simple easy. And awesome. WHYY in Philadelphia. This is fresh air. I'm Dave Davies infra Terry gross today. We remember writer and peace advocate, almost Oz. He was one of Israel's most popular and critically acclaimed writers in the co founder of the peace now movement. He grew up in Jerusalem in the nineteen forties and fifties. His parents had fled to Jerusalem from eastern Europe in the nineteen thirties. Oz was nine years old when the state of Israel was created these euphoria of that night the singing that doesn't in the streets the hugging between total strangers this. I'll never forget just as I will not forget the deep said silence, which don't on the Arab neighborhoods, Allah joy was there catastrophe. Also, John powers reviews the crime drama destroyer. That's all coming up on today's fresh air. Almost is one of Israel's most widely read in claimed writers and also one of its most prominent peace activists died last week at the age of Seventy-nine he died after a short battle with cancer. According to his daughter, his writing often about the history of his country, and the divisions within it included more than a dozen novels as well as collections of short fiction works of nonfiction and essays his memoir a tale of love. And darkness was first published in Hebrew in two thousand two and in two thousand sixteen was adapted into a film directed by. And starring Natalie Portman in nineteen seventy seven Osco founded peace now group which called for negotiations with the Palestinians and the creation of a Palestinian state today. We're going to listen back to three of his fresh air interviews starting with one from nineteen eighty eight recorded shortly after the release of his novel blackbox in blackbox Oz explores the fanatic personality the kind of extremism that divides. Israel from within and makes compromises difficult. Terry started by asking us to describe two of the novel's characters. Well on the surface. They could not be more different conflicting and contradicting each other. Alec is cool. Intellectual masterly, very domineering tyrant of an intellectual character. Michelle, some always oriental Jew. A Sephardi a religious one very warm person totally insecure and on the surface. A fanatical true believer beneath the surface. It's it's a little more complex. There is a lot of zealotry in liberal permissive progressive, Alex and a lot of tolerance in Michelle Somo. Do you see that as standing for a kind of generalization in the larger scheme of things, I was afraid? This was coming. You know, if Herman Melville would have written Moby Dick in South Africa. It will be immediately. Taken for a fable about whites and blacks in Latin America, they would read Moby Dick as a fable about macho and revolution. Some countries are probably doomed to have their literatures immediately interpreted in a general way. Well, yes, in a sense all said and done there is an Israeli dimension to the Novell. But it's first and foremost a novel about private relationship between half a dozen people. A love hate relationship. I know that you don't want your to see your fiction as symbolic of the state of Israel. But you see your fiction as playing a role in the political dialogue of your country since in much of you're writing you address issues of the country is in a sense, everything that I've written so far is set in Israel in ending the broadest sense, it is political though not political in the party's on way. You'll see Israelis the only country in the world are suppo-, I suppose where daily newspaper would run in editor Ariel. Unsigned editorials Peking, an issue with a fictitious character in fiction, which is found in a sense. I think Israel is are mentally sensitive to their literature, and they are exposed to eat perhaps more than any other nation under the sun are very passionate and emotional about about these really literature, and these very novel evoked a lot of political commentary in Israel, kind of commentary. Well, some people misunderstood for a simple parties on manifesto pro or anti that peace. Nick saw the the extremists which it was not more sensible readers realized that much like Israel itself. This is a novel about great dreams about great expectations about a big Begovian life, visions and indeed about the morning after and the said realization that every dream come true is bound to be flawed by coming through. I want to ask you about a perfect piece for a moment. That's a previous novel of yours. And it's an it set an caboose, and it's in a way about two different generations of a father who has a kind of democratic ideal for the kibbutz, and Anna son who is very disillusioned with it. And basically wants out he wants more freedom. He wants he wants more independence. And it's also about newcomers to Israel and to the caboose. Now, how did that play out in your life? When you were on the kibbutz. Well, it wasn't outside on myself. I came to the keyboard says you have mentioned the age of fourteen and hit an outside those reception, including its difficulties and harshness. But when the book was published I am glad and proud to say that the reception in the keyboards was open and pesha made some people hate aided guts, some people liked it. They responses in my own keyboards ranged all the way from how dare he to at long last. Someone is telling the truth very gutsy. You had mentioned before that. When you went to live on the kibbutz that your father was very very upset with you. Did you ever reconcile? That is after I've published a couple of books which have been shortly before he died. He sort of realized that I was not entirely wasting my life on his terms. So we did compromise the ins and compromises. The key words were it's not that he'd gotten to like the way I leave all the time. I have gotten to join his set of values, but we need compromise to respect each other and accept the differences between the two of us. I hate to stretch us into a metaphor. But, but I guess that's in a way what your stand is on Israel in general. I mean on Isreaeli politics. More acceptance his immigration believer in compromising I think the only alternative to compromising is fight to the death on any front on any level. I think a a question that has obsessed you personally, and in your fiction is why Israel didn't develop into the most egalitarian creative society in the world. Which is what the original vision was what are some of the reasons that come to your mind. First of all, I don't believe in magnanimous dreams coming through every fulfillment of injury or often Umbrian is bones destined to be partial, especially because he's ride wells funded on such a shaky coalition of conflicting, and contradicting dreams must have plans and visions. There was no way the. All could come through. The other reason of goals is that since its creation and even since Earlier Israel has been stuck with enough STI violent conflict with it's our neighbors. And I don't think an atmosphere of constant violent hateful conflict is the right at mafia to create the most egalitarian just society in the world, Isreaeli, novelist. Amazon is my guest. You are one of the founders of the group peace now. Yes. Yes. Guilty of that. You've printed out that Israeli doves aren't pacifists and ineffective fought in two wars yourself in sixty seven and in seventy three was it a hard decision for you to fight being being a dove yourself. It was a harsh experience. But not the hard decision that fight again in the gain. If it will be a matter of life and death for the nation. I would not fight thou for any other Cho's. I'd not fight for resources. I'd not fight for interests when it comes to life and death. I have always believed that there is one thing in this world, which is more ugly more sold lead than using violence. And these thing is giving in to violence in this respect. I am a piece Nick not at pacifist. And these rarely peace now movement is clearly not a make love note war movement. Not one of those how you changed personally, by this extent war in sixty seven the very first hours of the actual fighting my men, and I had some more of fire shot at us from nearby hill by Egypt's soldiers my immediate. I got zero response was cold, the police, those people are crazy. They can see that. We are on the Salem. They're still shooting at us. I still believe that these immediate instinct, call the police the civilian response to violence was. The genuine and healthy one bouts a couple of hours later, I felt very differently. I felt it was me all them. Any of these respects having folks a warrior never be the same human being? Having sheltered people having been shot at by Tilton strangers. You'll never be the same again. I guess what? I'm wondering too. I mean, you're someone who's really spoken out for reconciliation with the IRAs. And once you fight in a war against a group of people that you really see them as the enemy, and I should think it would be harder afterward experience to think about reconciliation. You know, if you mean by reconciliation, some Dostoevsky and scene of long lost rathers hugging. Each other saying, oh, brother Huckleberry, do a terrible thing to such a terrible thing to you will you ever forgive me than you are right to me reconciliation means a political settlement if I had twin title, my vision vis-a-vis, the our ups in general and the Palestinians in particular. I would say make peace not love the name of the game for Israel is and for Palestinians as I see is a fair and decent and painful divorce rather than a honeymoon bed together. I think Israel is on Palestinians should separate land and SS divide the land between the two nations and leave in peace like to ex people rather than try to reconcile in the way of living together. The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is not a family dispute heats a dispute between two families just as the state of Israel is is young. So, of course, this is rarely literature. And I would imagine that there's something very exciting about writing. A literature. That's so new if you know what I mean? And I mean, it's not only the state of Israel. But this body of literature in Hebrew because in in English what we're reading is translations, which you've worked on with the translator. But I is is that an exciting thing to be part of a new literature to call it exciting is an understatement. Especially as the literature is not exactly new. It's new in one sense. And it's a renewal of one of the most ancient nation legally chosen in the hall of civilization on the other hand, we are using Hebrew for musical instrument. And this musical instrument is both ancient and brand new to some extent, you could compare contemporary Hebrew to Elizabethan English. It's a volcano eruption writer or a poet of modern Hebrew can still legislate into the language create new worlds and new forms by calling modern Hebrew Elizabethan. I'm not implying. Of course that each. And every one of us is Rayleigh novelist is a William Shakespeare of those. We don't have more than half a dozen in Tel Aviv presently. But the fascination of creating in a melting lava his all there, and indeed there is a tremendously exciting literary scene in Israel right now. Thing that I can imagine would be frustrating is a lot of a lot of Jews around the world like to read Israeli novelists and writing in in in Hebrew, most Jews outside of Israel. Don't speak Hebrew. So they wouldn't be reading the novel in the language. It was written in that frustrating for you know, it she'll be frustrating for them. You know, I may not be much of a chauvinist for the nation as such for the territory, but I am terribly adamant and keen on the language. I will not part from it. Even if I had twenty rebels all over the world in the original still writing it, Terry gross with Israeli author and activist almost Oz recorded in one thousand nine hundred eighty eight died last week at the age of Seventy-nine. We'll be right back. This is fresh air support for this NPR podcast and the following message. Come from wicks dot com a web platform for creating your own professional website with wicks, whether it's your first time, creating a website or you're a longtime pro you can do it yourself shoes from hundreds of stunning templates or start from scratch with a dragon drop technology and powerful web features. Join over one hundred twenty five million people already using wigs to create their own websites. Goats at W I x dot com to create. Eight yours today. So what will you create? We're listening back to Terry's interviews with claimed Isreaeli writer and activist almost Oz who died last week at the age of seventy nine. Now, we're going to hear an excerpt from an interview recorded in January nineteen Ninety-one during the first Gulf war, which followed Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Just days after active fighting began Iraq launched Scud missile attack against Tel-Aviv Israelis feared the incoming missiles carried chemical or biological weapons. Subsequent. Reporting revealed those missiles carried conventional explosives not chemical or biological warheads. Terry gross spoke to us from his home in the Negev desert in southern Israel to get his thoughts on the war like all his Railly's. He had a room in his house sealed off his gas mask within reach. She asked him about the psychological effect of that on him and his family. We have been through many walls in life. We have been throw fighting. I've been on the battlefield vessels. But this space. This combination of Gaz and Jewish states. So to me he'd say cord and touches. And what's more over Agem in manufactured guys aimed at Jews in the Jewish state's is something which touch very deep emotion in all of us. Have you been able to write or work during the last week? Very little I try to keep some working routine. But I do it Paul time job full the army as a traveling lecturer, and it's very difficult to concentrate. What do you do as a traveling lecturer for the army? Just still about current events to groups of reservists. What have you been talking about for the past few days trying to play the story perspective of the conflicts? How did we get to response, and what might follow once they've resolved? And what is the actual connection between these Rayleigh Arab conflict and the Gulf war, and who is say, and what is Syria all about. And just the basic facts of the present situation. Opinions that the military asks you to stay away from. The only thing I am restricted or I see myself from his body politics. But they all know that I'm a leading dove and one of the leaders of the peace now movement. This is no secret time don't around the nation and very controversial. They all know exactly what I believe in and what I maintain about the future. Territories. And the prospects for peace with the Palestinians compromise with Palestinians and time, and again, I mentioned to our soldiers Lowery's, this that there is no point in hating every her up for being an Arab, and that many of them are as much victims of of this fanaticism in ruthlessness as we are perhaps moso because they suffer more and they will suffer more. When you're talking with the troops about that. What kind of dialogue gets going? What kind of response? Do you get? Some people are angry not only with seen some people are angry with the entire outside world. Why are they hallway? So harsh on the Jews. Why are they only sympathetic with Israel when Israelis actually hits? Why is the ju- popular only when he is actually on the cross and the moment he gets off across in punch make the of of his enemies. He's immediately condemned and portrayed as a Munster. Why are the such expectations that Israel be that Jesus Christ of the nations in terms of turning the other cheek? So I hear these arguments from many people not from all of them from the majority, but from many. Well, let's say look this goes beyond emotions, and is registered take it. As a compliment that's say public opinion, make us in several countries have much higher moral expectations from Israel than they have from nasty tyrants. We should take it as a compliment. We should take it as a as a tribute. The fact that say American public opinion, expect Israel and the soums that Israel should display higher moral norms in say in dealing with its enemies. He's not an insult. It's a compliment. Do you think that the war is uniting or dividing Israel? Now is it having a unifier divisive effect? Israel there. He's new these agreements over the viciousness of Saddam Hussein. There is no these agreement over they type of of desired solution and the Palestinian question, which has been the main divider the main. A point of this agreement between Dobson hoax in Israel is at the moment moved to the backgrounds to the backstage, but let me add right away. By the same token. I think the Palestinian problem is not resolved. And even though that the low have been stupid and wicked enough twin dolls and I'm Hussein and probably will be made to pay for. It's the Palestinian problem will not go away. And once they say Gulf war is resolved. We Israelis will have to face the Palestinian Trump and deal with it. Tell me what your plans are for the rest of the day. You're gonna go outside today. I'm going to spend the rest of the evening with some friends watch television. Religiously and either Risi silent, and that might be a siren just go spend part of the night or most of the nineteen the seal drew, they says six thirty PM locum time and in the past few nights. This is about the time when we had the missile alarm. And so we are emotionally prepared. This happens any second it might even have in the middle of our conversation. I mean, nobody knows he no way, you know. This has been the condition of Israel for forty years. Now, not so extreme so dramatic, but we have always lived under a constant threat MS since the creation of this nation. We never had a single day of full-scale peace. We have always leave on edge. So the way we leave this evening is only a symbolic intensification of these radio. Series in General, Terry gross, spoke with Israeli author and activist almost is from his home in the Negev desert during the Gulf war in nineteen Ninety-one died last week at the age of seventy nine when we come back. We'll hear Terry's two thousand four interview with Oz recorded after his memoir, a tale of love and darkness was translated into English. I'm Dave Davies, and this is fresh air support for this podcast and the following message. Come from season two of choice allergy and original podcast from Charles Schwab season, two of choice. Allergy is hosted by scientists Katie milkman, listen as she shares real world stories of people facing monumental decisions with special guests ranging from sports heroes, two Nobel laureates choice. Allergy also provides tools and strategies for making better choices in life. Download the latest episode and subscribe at Schwab dot com slash podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts planet money tip number seventeen. Sometimes life is exactly like the movies. Might have thirty seconds t minus. Planet money podcast about the economy and sometimes about rocket ships. We're listening back to Terry's interviews with the claimed Isreaeli writer and activist almost Oz who died last week at the age of seventy nine. Now, we're going to listen to an interview Terry recorded in two thousand four after us is memoir, a tale of love and darkness was translated into English from the original Hebrew. Although it's subtitled a memoir us as some of the stories about his parents and grandparents lives are based not just on fact in memory, but on considerable speculation the book, one of the biggest selling literary works in Israel history is about drawing up in Jerusalem in the nineteen forties and fifties in the shadow of the holocaust and in fear of an Arab attack. His parents had fled eastern Europe in the early thirties. Why did your parents moved to Israel nineteen thirty three? What presenting the question this way? Suggests that they winced lick travel agency in looked for a country while to leave they will virtually kicked out of Europe by violent anti-semitism in eastern Europe and the rising of Nazism in central Europe. No other country will do them at that time. That was no kind of least of choices. It's not that they should have opted for the French Riviera and by mistake. They opted for Jerusalem, they were kicked out of Europe. And and Jerusalem in this time the land of Israel at that time was the only available liferaft when no other country wanted them. They did try some members of my family tried to apply for a French and American Canadian navien British even a German citizen shape, and they will them down by everybody. I think I'll, you know, a lot of Jewish people who grew up in say the nineteen fifties. And who whose grandparents emigrate ended closer to the turn of? The century emigrated to America from eastern Europe, you know, fleeing the the programs. These these grandparents often didn't wanna talk about the quote old country. The they were for whatever reasons whether it was painful memories, or or the pain of having to leave home and leave family behind a lot of grandparents just wouldn't talk about it. Now, your parents loved the Europe they left behind not love the persecution. But but missed that Europe. Did they talk to you much about it? They says, oh, the the same way people says or an unrequited love from the children, you don't discuss with your Charles someone who dumped you when you were younger, someone whom you love them dumped you, and that's exactly how they felt about Europe the houses full of syndromes in signs and clues for the heartbroken love for Europe. But they never talked about it except very indirectly. My father used to say from time to time that one day not in his lifetime may be my. Lifetime. Our Jerusalem will evolve and develop into a real city. I couldn't understand what he was talking about for major limos the only real city in the world, even Tel Aviv was a myth over the years. I learned that when my father expressed the world pronounce the words a real city, he meant a city with a river in the middle bridges across the river. And thence forests roundabouts Europe the promised land from the promised land. How did your parents describe the meaning of Israel to you when you were growing up when in the nineteen forties? Israel was still a dream a vision and a blueprint they talked about the impending creation of Jewish state's in messiah Nick terms this state, which is about to be born will be pure and jelly idiotic. It will help holds world records in. In high jump jump morality gold medal. Lynn good behavior in treating minorities in social Justice. It will be both biblical and modern both very Jewish and very secular and very democratic and very socialistic. It will be more everything than anyone. But this of course, was a dream a fantasy a vision. And then came the morning after and. Well, the morning after is a disappointment by definition. I maintain that the only way to keep a dream not only as I only stream any dream as sexual dri mistake. Trump fantasy the only way to keep any dream of hanters intact, and Rosie and toughest and flawless is NEF L to try to live it out. Israel is a dream. Come true as such is destined to be a disappointment to some extent. And I accepted fiddles Connie. Can you talk a little bit about your parents sense of what it meant to them to be Jewish? Well, both of them will secular. None of them was a synagogue gore. Even my grandparents were very secular. I am a thirds at least a third generation of sick lar- secularized Jews for him whom being Jewish is first and foremost as sense of cultural belonging, not a synagogue yell belonging. Judaism to me is a culture festival. Phobos the Hebrew language, which I think is the crux Larry page and long line of books creations southern sensibilities, which I didn't defy as Jewish sensibilities. Although they are not exclusively Jewish humour and skepticism southern Anoc, his Sutton lack of confidence in any regime or government whatsoever. Certain utopian ambitions about world reforming all of. This identification more identify as Jewish heritage Jewish sensibilities and all of those are alive and kicking some house sometimes kicking too hard outside the realm of synagogue. He described the Hebrew language as being at the crux of the Israeli heritage or the Jewish heritage. What language did yours? What languages did your parents speak to each other? And to you in though, here's a comedy veiled speak between them Russian and polish for me nuts to understands ninety five percent of the time. They wanted me knocked on the stand while they were speaking about because they were talking either about the mess murder of their relatives in Europe by the Nazis or about the disaster. The calamity the Messmer though, which may happen in Jerusalem wants the British pull out and the Arab nations when smash us so this was not fully Kate. This was polish and Russian. They read books in German, French and English for culture. I believe they dreamt the dreams in dish. But me they taught Hebrew and only Hebrew as a precaution. They feared that. If I had one European language. I will eventually be seduced by the deadly Trump's of EuroPol go to European catch my death. So they did not want me to know any European language for my own safety. Did your parents know, Hebrew before they moved to Israel. Oh, yes. They both had the Hebrew had Bryk upbringing in secular Ziouani schools in Ukraine and Lithuania respectively. Yes, now, you talked about how your parents spoke in in the languages of their countries to protect you from the subjects that they were talking about when they were talking about the Pegram's in Europe or the holocaust in in in Germany, what were some of the fears that you grew up with living in Israel during the holocaust in the nineteen forties. I grew up in the shadow of an unpronounceable whore. The whole was with vet which was happening to the Jews in Europe Messmer, though, by the nuts is is going to repeat itself injure limb either because the Nazi puzzles armed columns will conquer Palestine and put all the Jews in guest chambers or else because British will eventually pull out and leave the small Jewish community in the land of Israel to the mercy of the entire Massey less Arab world. So we feel a mess mother of our own community the same way it happened to the Jewish communities all over new European the photos, did you live in a state of fear. Did you have a lot of nightmares? That was a subterranean fear. You have to imagine a city under siege. You have to imagine a town where British curfew heels to be imposed at seven pm almost every night. You have to imagine this CT where the Jewish underground terrorist groups blew up. Glady British military installations almost every night, you have to imagine a Jewish Jerusalem surrounded by Arabs, towns and villages, most of them very hostile. He went to you actually mentioned the insecurity of the days a month at nights, and you have to bear in mind that everyone was refugee from some infernal or another not only from Europe, though of those who are kicked out of the Arab Islamic countries. Those will survive by the skin of the teeth the Arab and Islamic hatred for Jews, and they also came to land of Israel. So as I often say Israel is essentially a refugee camp. So is Palestine which is what makes a squad flicked, so tragic it's a it's a conflict tragic conflict between two victims between two refugee camps. What was it like for you, watching holocaust survivors, come to Israel and seeing the state that they were in in just sensing what they what they had lived through what they had narrowly survived. What I am ashamed to tell you. But I did tell the tale of love and darkness. So I have to repeat it in. This interview will look down those five us we thought of them as CeCe week people while we is Rayleigh Jews felt back rate. Pell the enemies practice with some machine guns even in times of the British mandate as part of an illicit defense force. They went quote, unquote, like sheep to the slaughter. It took me years on the stand. What an idiot tables in looking down those on across survivors for not fighting big. How could they fight make who own could fight back the nutsy machine when you have no country, no allies, no weapons. No chance in hell to defend yourself. So yes, I'm shamed. To confess states. We were patronizing the whole holocaust survivors. And we are saying to them we native Israel is we will saying to them. Wait. We would teach you how to be proud how to be strong. How to fight back. How to get something? Was that the general attitude? Quite wants rates quite widespread. But then it's not unusual for his rallies to look down at each other from different angles. What are your memories of Israel's independence day, you write that your father told you to take it all in because this is something you'd be talking about to your children to your grandchildren? Is this was a euphoric night for me. I was about nine year old when the general assembly of the United Nations than in lake success resolved by two thirds votes to divide Palestine into two sovereign states Palestinian, Arab states and Israeli Jewish state's this in brackets is going to be the bottom line of of several decades of conflict in the end Israelis and Palestinians will come back to two states on close brackets now for me that night. Is a memory which I will carry for the rest of my life, never in my life, either before or after have I seen such a burst of public euphoria euphoria combined with fear of the future no-one was certain of the results. No, one was certain whether we are going to survive the impending battle with the Arab world, but this euphoria that's the Jews will become an independent nation for the first time in nineteen th centuries. Seen sleet eradication of ancient Israel by the Roman armies by the Roman empire that once again, there will be Jewish regime. Jewish government in Jewish law and Jewish sovereignty the kind of vindication of of people who have always been a an oppressed and in and love minority wherever everywhere except perhaps in the United States of America. But everywhere else the. The feeling that at last we are going to have a home. It may be very small. It may be a home the size of a hand count chief or a post on stamp on the map of the word. But nonetheless, it's going to be our own these euphoria of that night the singing that doesn't in the streets. The hugging between total strangers that tears. The vows. These are never forget just as I will not forget the deep. Said silence, which don't on the Arab neighborhoods. Our joy was there. Catastrophe their fear, and trembling, and despair, and anger and bewilderment. I will never forget how after rules on him celebrated with fireworks and singing and dancing. The other parts of Jerusalem were wrapped in darkness. Silence. And sadness. This is the first time you've written about your mother's suicide. She was I think thirty eight when when she died you were about twelve and a half you say she'd never really taken to life in Israel. Why not? I think years in Jerusalem fence like exile for him. She didn't like the climate. She didn't like the atmosphere. She didn't like the company, and she was forever, grieving for her hometown the Ukraine, which she heads to leave because anti semitism became embarrassing, but many of her Jewish and non-jewish friends while left there behind infect most of them and the non Jewish friends were involved in killing the Jewish friends. Once the Nazis conquer this town. She prefer of low while twenty five thousand Jews were shot dead in two days. You know, plenty five thousand gills is more than the overall number of Jews who died in one hundred years of conflict with the arms twenty five thousand people hold down in two days for my mother. This was an everlasting drama ED's to this the dreariness of a rather pedestrian marriage ED's police unfulfilled artistic ambitions or yearnings. Ed's to these is certain intellectual and emotion on finesse for which Jerusalem of the forties was just never own place, and you end up with sadness loneliness, despair, does elation and logging it there is an element of mystery here. I mean, you print a letter that you got later from one of your mother's friends. And and and the letter said if you only knew how much your mother wanted to be an artist to be a creative person from her childhood if only she could see you now, and why didn't she manage it? Maybe in a personal conversation. I could be more daring and tell you things that I don't they're put in writing. What do you think that was? I think it was hair deep disappointment from the fading away of life. She grew up with a an intensely romantic menu in this menu. She will supposed to grow up into a pianist. Or maybe a poet she was suppose she was expecting to grow up in enough. The stick Melia in a peaceful country. He in a civilized society in a central European culture. A at Mus fear. She found herself housewife ING trapped in poverty, lower middle-class, insecurity, in sun-scorched halt, dusty fanatic Jerusalem, I know this now because as I wrote that Taylor of love and darkness, I actually invited all those dead people to my home for a Cup of coffee indicate I said to my mother and my father and my grandparents and half the neighborhood all of those who are. Now, I it sit down have a coffee headache. Let us talk. We have never talked when you were alive not on things that methods not on emotions certainly not about sensuality and sexuality not about shuttled dreams. Not about your unrequited. Love for Europe. Let's talk now. And I talk to the dead after talking. I said I want to introduce you to my wife and children. They've never met. You. You have never met them. It's just as well that you meet and then after the session, I said to the dead now go away, you're not going to leave in my house who made drop by from time to time for coffee. That's the mood in which I wrote it they love loving dog. Nece not to score my accounts with him not to punish them. Not to get back at them not to show to the well that the fact that I'm imperfect is to be blamed on my unhappy childhood. All my terrible. Parents not at all. Compassionate forgiveness us. Thank you so much for talking with us. Thank you for having me, Israeli writer and activist. Almost speaking with Terry gross recorded in two thousand four died last week. He was seventy nine coming up. John powers reviews. The new thriller destroyer starring Nicole Kidman. This is fresh air. This message comes from NPR sponsor Samuel Adams of all the beer. Sam Adams has ever. Brewed Boston lager is their all time favorite with its distinctive balance of spicy hops, sweet roasted malts and smooth finish. It stood the test of time and helped launch the whole craft beer revolution. Sam Adams, Boston lager, full flavored rich and complex. There's nothing quite like the taste of original Boston beer company, Boston mass saver responsibly. In the new thriller destroyer, the coal Kidman stars as a loose cannon l a police officer are critic at large John power. Our says, despite some shortcomings, it takes a familiar story and turns it into something new the history of the movies is teeming with stories about cops who run the gamut from saints like Frank serpico two psychos crazier than dirty hairy yet. The one thing that most movie cops are not is female. And when they are they tend to be sidekicks or like Marge Gunderson in Fargo to inhabit the likable end of the spectrum. This tendency gets exploded in destroyer a fascinating, but flawed Noir thriller, starring Nicole Kidman as a drunken pointedly unlikable cop. It was directed by Karen Kasama who like Kathryn Bigelow has made your career working in genres usually dominated by men, but she's done. So from an even more overtly feminist angle ever since you're terrific debut, girl, fight about a boxer played by Michelle Rodriguez Kusaba has been telling stories of women who aren't afraid to come out swinging. When he first meet Kidman's character LAPD detective, Erin bell. We're not sure she's even capable of lifting her fist. She shockingly ravaged so gone, so scuzzy that Kidman appears to be impersonating. The latter day Harry dean Stanton, but when a murdered man turns up carrying a Bill from a Bank robbery bell kicks into action. And as she does destroy it against cutting between two time periods whose full connection is only revealed at the end. In the present day story. Bellas tracking a mysterious Bank. Robber named Silas. Played by Toby Kebble, a largely illegal search involving violence, grungy sex and gleefully funny. Turn by Bradley Whitford as a sleazy lawyer the other storyline flashes us back two decades earlier to win the lovely fresh-faced bell and her partner. Chris an excellent Sebastian STAN, go undercover in the desert. Their mission is to take down. The vainglorious Silas who says sub niche in things about there being no God. And we all know, there's no villain more. Sinister than pretentious one. Here. Belen Chris are working on their cover story in a bar when Chris gets her to give him a long passionate kiss. Right. Kiss me. Why? So I know. I don't want to surprise a first time an app is in public. That's nice. Okay. Got it. They can thank you that. Probably. No I've seen destroy your twice, and I've enjoyed both times and new small part because Kidman gives an intense and immersive performance, unlike anything she's ever done. She's really great still. I can't honestly tell you the movies a complete success. The ending is drawn out in hokey. The plot is preposterous any serious. Police department would have fired bell long ago and the action sequences can border on camp. I never thought I'd see Kidman pistol whip anybody. Then again, that's almost the point. Well, there are scans of movies about crazy out of control male heroes. Many of them in Italy, preposterous plots there are almost none about out of control heroines that's because studios fear that audiences won't know what to make of a heroine who does the nasty things that they did door in Robert deniro, nNcholas cage. Recent. We don't know how to react to a character. Like bell is not that women are incapable of rage obsession violence or lacerating guilt. It's that what we've seen men express this stuff on screen over and over you talking to me, it's still so rare to see women act out in this way that we can find it unnatural unsettling even funny Kasama clearly hopes to change that working in the gopher broke tradition of Jane Campion's in the cut, and the Jodie Foster vigilante film, the brave one she takes the archetypal story of the driven male cop and then deliberately flips the gender script. Bells got a sexy love interest. In Sebastian stands. Chris a long suffering spouse played by scoot mcnairy and a kid that she spent most of her life ignoring. She's also unstoppable. Bill endures. The sort of over the top beatings, I associate with Mel Gibson's heroes, and like them, she implausibly picks herself up and keeps going. If destroy your sounds like some girl power version of a cop movie, I can assure you that it's darker and more interesting than that. Although there are a few moments of loopy transcendence near the end coup. Some and Kidman rarely go soft on bell. Instead, they offer a clear eyed portrait of a destructive soul rampaging wage for redemption. In the process, they've created something memorable. A Hollywood heroine who doesn't give it down. What the world thinks of her. John powers reviewed the new film destroyer starring Nicole Kidman on Monday show, the consequences of childbirth, injury, pain, secrecy, and a medical community that doesn't know how to treat. It Terry will speak with Hillary Frank creator of the award winning parenting podcast, the longest shortest time. Her pain in isolation. Led her to start the podcast. Her new book weird parenting. Winds include some of the stories from it. Hope. He can join us. Fresh Air's executive producer is Danny Miller. Our technical director and engineer is Audrey Bentham with additional engineering support from Joyce Lieberman. And Julian Herzfeld, our associate producer for digital media is Molly seavy nesper. Roberta shorrock directs the show for Terry. Gross. I'm david.

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