Publish date 02-08-2022

by Andrea Gotico

Since childhood, American films have fed us cinematically speaking to the idea that the world is made up of good and bad. The bad guys are not just rascals, but they are really bad bad guys, with no hope of redemption. They are corrupt and irremediably adherent to evil. The bad guys kill your mother in front of your son and laugh saying: «Now it's your turn !!». They do things so horrible that they make the viewer believe that the bad guys must simply and rightly die. At this point the good man on duty arrives - who happens to be also a skilled and trained killer - and can finally annihilate the brute with his holy hands. If the villain dies in excruciating suffering much better, the viewer can now go home happy and content, because good has triumphed over evil. There is no trace of the sense of guilt and no one has to undergo 12 years of analysis.

Looking back on my childhood, I am very sorry that I deeply believed that Indians were ugly and mean, and I am sorry that I killed hundreds of them in my childhood dreams while riding a beautiful black horse. Now that I have grown up a little and have realized that good and evil are not John Wayne and Crazy Horse, I think of two soldiers. One is Russian: he is inside a tank, and a voice on the radio keeps telling him to go forward and shoot, but he is freezing and hungry. Desperate, he thinks of his Ukrainian girlfriend who is expecting a baby, he gets out of the tank and, crying, shoots himself in the leg, hoping to be sent home. The second is Ukrainian: his wife and two children are safe in Romania, they call him crying every day while he, who used to be a farmer, now has a gun in his hand that he doesn't know how to use. While he is looking for a meaning to all this, I think back to myself as a child: "Grandfather, what is evil?". "It doesn't matter, you do good".

Andrea Gotico
NP April 2022

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