In the business of theology it is hard not to be controversial - Jurgen Moltmann

Friday, 26 October 2007

Lust, infatuation, sacrifice - Gloomy Sunday


Men like to think that they 'love' their women.

(Well, to be fair, it is also true the other way round.  So, it's perhaps more accurate to say that humans like to think of themselves as in love with somebody.)

But quite often that is not the case.

Hans (the young entrepreneur turned SS turned entrepreneur) imagines that he loves Ilona. No, he does not.  His is only the desire to possess.  He starts with lust and ends with abuse.  When the day comes that he can make the last use of his position of power, he takes advantage to the betrayal of her as well as the one who regards him as friend.

Andras (the pianist) believes that he loves Ilona.  Partly true.  He certainly is deeply fond of her, but that falls short of love.  He probably begins with infatuation but eventually transcends it and displays traits of love.  His love is (most substantially) suggested (I won't say 'proved' here) in his will to share his royalty with the the man whom his lover also loves. 

Laszlo (the restaurant owner) loves Ilona.  He truly does.  All he wants is to let Ilona be happy and fulfilled, whatever that might mean for himself.  He is the only character who is from the beginning to the end genuinely, selflessly in love with Ilona.  Though not without jealousy (which is an inevitable reality in humanity), he is sacrificial enough to use his power (as the boss) to help the one who is supposed to be his enemy of love and also to save the latter from attempted suicide. 

Lust, infatuation, sacrifice. 

The attitudes of the three male characters toward Ilona.

These are perhaps also the fundamental attitudes that people can have in their relationship with others toward whom they are attracted. 

As humans, we like to think / believe that we love them.  A lot of time, unfortunately, we don't.  We are merely lustful or infatuated.  It may even degrade to become possessive and abusive. 

Until one day, that we can be sacrificial toward the loved ones and put their ultimate well-being as our priorities, then we can say unabashedly, yes we love.  

No, this cannot be the lesson for a life time. It is for two life times, probably. 


Gloomy Sunday - A Song of Love and Death (Ein Lied von Liebe und Tod) (directed by Rolf Schübel, Hungary & Germany, 1999)


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