The other night we got in to an argument. We didn't mean to get in to an argument, but we were introduced to a friend of a friend and we - purely because of our nationality, pushed one of the prejudice buttons in his head. I wasn't really involved at first, but left on my own with him later on, I found my usual attempts to see both sides of any argument were hampered by this guy's emotional blinkers. It was late, I was drunk, and he wasn't important, so I told him I disagreed with him and left. I slept on it angry, and woke up angry.
And today, I watched Gentleman's Agreement. Thought it was amazing.
The basic premise is that a young Al from Quantum Leap asks his poppa, a journalist why people hate Jews. And so poppa goes undercover as a Jew to find out and write a sizzling exposé. In this day and age the journalist role would be played by Renée Zellwegger and it would be a laugh-a-minute romp. But what follows is a very human story. Gregory Peck plays the main character, but he's not the heart of the film, not in any sense. He suffers the prejudice, rails against it, and everything he says about it is right, but it's through the characters around him that we get some insight in to the practicalities of the operation of prejudice, the complicity, and the evil that arises when good men do nothing.
File off the serial numbers, and it is a film about any sort of prejudice going, and at its heart the message is probably that we're all prejudiced. We may not realise it. We may want not to be, and we may even be less prejudiced than other people. But it still doesn't make it right or good or fair.