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"The Iron Lady"


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#31 atm711

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 04:32 AM

Perhaps I will succumb...the theater is only two blocks away.......

#32 Jayne

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 01:11 AM

And how many British subjects were living in the Falklands when Thatcher's gov't went to war over it. And comparing the Falklands to the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor when she was meeting with Secretary of State, Alexander Haig. Did Haig really say nothing when Thatcher brought up that ridiculous analogy? Did that meeting really happen.

I have no idea if the Pearl Harbor analogy was stated in reality. But there are presently about 3000 Falklanders now, I assume the number was slightly less in the early 1980's. I know this is an forum for performance art lovers, but google "The Dirty War" and read up on the torture, deaths, and disappearances of more than 30,000 people, including foreigners. One Swedish teenager was rounded up mistakenly, but killed because she had seen too much torture to be released. Others were drugged, their bellies cut open (while still alive) and then dropped naked from helicopters into the Atlantic ocean. No British subject deserved to be abandoned to the murderous Argentine Junta.

Back to the film - I saw it Friday night, and structurally it had many issues. But I relish films that make me think about them - chew on them - in the days that follow. "The Iron Lady" certainly did that for me. Meryl Streep makes the film what it is, although I suspect the true Mrs. Thatcher was more subtle in her relationships, you cannot tear your eyes off her for the entire film. The Alzheimers parts are many - I think too much time for the film - but then again perhaps the audience would not care for her as much if we only saw the shrill debates in Parliament.

#33 dirac

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 09:22 AM

Thanks very much for telling us your thoughts about the movie, Jayne. The Pearl Harbor analogy remains quite inappropriate to me, but opinions will differ.

Please report back here if you go, atm711.

#34 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 04:37 AM

Jayne, thank you so much for the information about the Argentine Dirty War. Like you and Dirac and many others I wonder what Thatcher really said to Haig during their meeting. I remember the news reports in the US at the time of the Falklands War talking about the inhabitants of the Falklands being mainly penguins. (Not that penguins aren't living creatures, but you know what I mean.) I think it would have made more sense if the screenwriter (I forget her name) had had Thatcher lecture Haig on the realities of the Dirty War. Whether in reality Secretary of State Haig knew about this (and in his position he must have) it would make things clearer to the audience. Did people in Great Britain hear about details of the Dirty War during the Falklands War? I would really love to find out.

#35 Mashinka

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 08:09 AM

A huge coincidence that this year marks thirty years since the Falklands conflict and that the present Agentinian president seems hell bent on on a repeat invasion sometime soon: all very depressing.

No one knows for sure what Haig and Thatcher said but it was generally assumed that the then US government supported Argentina in a show of Pan-American solidarity. US public opinion however was rather different I seem to remember.

#36 dirac

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 11:21 AM

Colleen, there would have been no British citizens there in the first place if Britain hadn't thrown out the people living there and repopulated the island back in the 1830s. But I digress. The US did support the UK during the war.

Mashinka, given that Cameron has been making noises about Argentine "colonialism" - rather amusing given the context - I wonder if he isn't harboring Iron David fantasies of a nice little war that will distract people from tough times at home.....

#37 Mashinka

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 02:00 AM

Colleen, there would have been no British citizens there in the first place if Britain hadn't thrown out the people living there and repopulated the island back in the 1830s. But I digress. The US did support the UK during the war.

Mashinka, given that Cameron has been making noises about Argentine "colonialism" - rather amusing given the context - I wonder if he isn't harboring Iron David fantasies of a nice little war that will distract people from tough times at home.....


People? Or do you mean penguins? When the Falkland islands where settled by the British (Scottish highlanders in the main) the previous French settlers had already departed as the harsh conditions had defeated them but the tough Highlanders made a go of the place though and their descendants, (10th generation now I believe) still live there today. Prior to the French interest the islands were uninhabited so nobody colonized anyone and at the time the state of Argentina did not exist.

It is actually the Argentineans that are seeking to colonize the Falklands as they are a foreign power wishing to subjugate what has become an indigenous population. David Cameron is actually perfectly correct in this instance. The recent scenes from Argentina, attacking the UK embassy and burning British flags would indicate to me that things may kick off again very soon.

I personally detested Margaret Thatcher and everything she stood for but in defending the Falkland Islanders she was perfectly right and had the support of all the UK political parties. Don't forget the Argentineans started the conflict and it looks like they are initiating a second act of aggression right now.

#38 sandik

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:35 AM

Don't forget the Argentineans started the conflict and it looks like they are initiating a second act of aggression right now.


Oh lordy, I hope not. With all violence over territorial issues that we already see in the world, I hope we can avoid this addition to the list.

#39 dirac

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 10:45 AM

Mashinka, the islands were more or less uninhabited, true, and no other colonial powers seemed much interested in them at the time. However, regardless of the shakiness of Argentina's claim, Britain's is weaker. Of course the UK (and Argentina) are free to send their young people to die in any war they like. Seems to me the war in 1982 should never have begun and it was mainly luck that the butcher's bill didn't go higher than the actual population of the islands. If you want to fight another such, or send others to do so, be my guest (although I doubt anything will happen this time around).

#40 Mashinka

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 02:00 AM

At heart I'm a pacifist but I nevertheless feel any county has the right to defend itself when attacked. When the Argentineans invaded the Falklands they were seeking to subjugate British citizens and the government of the time had a moral obligation to protect those citizens. If Argentina should mount a second invasion attempt (which is looking increasingly likely) I would hope the UK would again seek to rescue the Falklanders. By the way, although London based I'm not of British descent and therefore fairly neutral in my views.

#41 Colleen Boresta

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 08:24 AM

Not to beat a dead horse about Thatcher's Pearl Harbor speech to Al Haig in The Iron Lady, but yesterday I found Margaret Thatcher's memoir The Downing Street Years. I found it in my house while cleaning. A friend had given it to me as a Christmas present years ago, and I'd forgotton I owned it. Anyway, I immediately checked out the section about the Falklands War and I can't find any mention of Thatcher comparing the Falklands crisis with the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor. What Thatcher really said (at least in her view) is in my opinion more interesting and certainly less weird than the Pearl Harbor analogy. In today's world, when it's so easy to check out whether something really happened, why would the screenwriter (I think her name is Abby Morgan or Amy Morgan or something like that) just make things up. Anyway, I won't mention the subject again unless I find more source that admits to the truth of the Pearl Harbor argument.

#42 dirac

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 12:18 PM

The screenwriter's name is Abi Morgan ("The Iron Lady" also has a female director, Phyllida Lloyd, still a relatively rare combination).

Mashinka, from what I've read of the runup to the war it wasn't nearly that simple, although I certainly agree with your general principle. It's a controversial matter, to say the least.

My understanding, Colleen, is that Thatcher had more doubts before making her decision than the movie suggests. Certainly it was a risky decision and it took nerve to make it.

#43 Jayne

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 03:49 PM

Well I am certainly more interested in reading biographies of Lady Thatcher, both pro and con, after seeing the movie. I still think it was an interesting movie, well worth my $12 investment, and I recommend that others see it. I didn't agree with all of it, but I feel the same way about Terrance Malick's movies - unusual structure , thought provoking, with good acting.

dirac - Actually it was the Americans who drove off the Argentines in 1831. Took their gunpowder, spiked their guns, and destroyed Puerto Louis. All because the appointed governor was a conservationist, who limited overfishing and overhunting of seals. We'd all be in his corner in 2012. But in 1831 the Americans supported their fishermen / seal hunters, and sent the USS Constitution to do some damage. In 1832 BsAs sent a new governor, but the remaining settlers killed him off and raped his wife. Britain restored order in 1833, some of the locals stayed, others returned to the mainland.

There are islands or territories all over the world with similar disputes, the late 18th and early 19th century were full of naval powers exerting their influence. All cite the parts of treaties and history that favor them, and ignore the parts that disfavor them. Just google the Pig War in the San Juan Islands as an example. Today there are lands in Polish hands that once belonged to historical German principalities. Despite 65 years of German democracy, those lands won't return to German hands. I think it is the same for Argentina, though no longer ruled by a military junta, the Falklanders were traumatized by the war and want nothing to do with democratic Argentina.

When you boil it down, we have one group of European descendants disputing land held by another group of European descendants. Argentina is 97% European descended, they killed off nearly all their aboriginals. Perhaps when they give up their lands to the Mapuche tribes, then perhaps the Falklanders will give up their lands as well.


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