The twin cinematic retrospectives on the careers of Hoover and Thatcher, both notorious conservatives that packed a lot of clout in recent Western history, invite this question. Today’s article at Eureka Street, Humanising Hoover and Thatcher – Eureka Street, takes rather a dim view of the practice.
I wonder though. As one privileged to work across a wide spectrum of the community, embracing idealists from the extremes of both the right and the left (and all the places in between), I consider it important to contemplate the human element that we all share. Heaven forbid – it might give rise to compassion for those who have committed the inexcusable! Well, compassion springs from knowledge, knowledge leads to understanding, understanding leads to constructive dialogue for improvement.
Maybe if we saw the human in each other rather than competing ideologies we may be able to deal more effectively with some of the contemporary challenges confronting us.
How successfully these two cinematic efforts achieve the task of putting flesh and bone on these historic figures is another matter. However, I do not question the desire.
- Leonardo DiCaprio and Clint Eastwood Ask: Who Was ‘J. Edgar?’ (screenrant.com)
- Phyllida Lloyd: how to humanise Margaret Thatcher (guardian.co.uk)