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Bon Journal

Pearl Harbor

In preparation to see this movie, I read various reviews. Unfortunately, they were all negative. It seems that the world has become unforgiving.

My friend Yasmin booked the tickets. Hungry from our workouts, we managed to stuff ourselves with Lebanese sharwarma (not as good as the one I had in Alkmaar, Netherlands after dancing) and freshly squeezed mango and melon juices before going up the escalators to the Marble Arch Odeon cinema. We were two single women amid a sea of romantic couples in this theatre.

The Pearl Harbor incident is well-known but not the prelude or the postlude: the Eagles of the Royal Air Force and the B52 bombers - the Doolittle top secret campaign to bring back hope to defeated US. The love story, not one, but at least two, around this event was undoubtedly fictional and crafted to lure a greater audience (two heads, especially, lovebirds, are better than one - in the bush).

So it was no surprise that the music was sweeping and heart-wrenching against the tropical paradise scenes of waves splashing against the cliffs. The women were all beautifully made-up, with the kind of red lipstick that remained unblemished, even after kissing. And the men? The pilots were the best looking, followed by their assistants and sailors. They were the kind of men that any decent girl would fall for. But I don't recall as good-looking men on the air bases where I grew up (in Okinawa). Perhaps time has blurred my memory.

Anyhow, I was very touched by the romantic scenes: the initial blunders and hesitations, the fondness that develops, the declarations of true love, and the longing and long sighs. Ah! This is all too familiar.

A man would probably comment on the planes, ships, and the bombing. But I saw this movie as a story of unrequited love of which there were several: first love, brotherly love, romantic love, and everlasting love.

In this busy and cynical world we live today, it helps to remember that such love does exist..... if only we have the time to cherish it.

1 June 2001

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