Friday, September 21, 2018
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Is it worth it? Yes

Along with another couple, Mrs. Davis and I attended the Sun Theatre’s showing of “The Monuments Men” on Saturday night. The movie, tells the tale of seven museum directors, curators, and art historians who received permission from FDR to attempt a rescue operation of artistic masterpieces being plundered by Nazi thieves during WWII. Under the direction of Adolf Hitler and Commander Hermann Goering, confiscation of artwork from France, Germany, Austria and Italy (along with personal property of Jews deemed non-citizens) was begun by the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), a special task force headed by Alfred Rosenberg. The task of the monuments men was to discover the hiding places of these items, secure and catalog the items and return them to their rightful owners. It was a race against time, as the war was winding down and Hitler had decreed that all items were to be destroyed before allied forces could regain their possession.

I was amused by the use of scenes that movie-goers would recognize from other previous movies. The selection of the rescue crew reminded me of what I call the combination of “Ocean’s Six” and “The Dirty Half Dozen.” Other movies included would be “National Treasure” and of course the Indiana Jones foursome. Others may notice more examples. I considered the use of these scenes to be an enhancement rather than a distraction. The movie showed that even in the midst of war, there are times of humor and that the bonds of camaraderie can produce fond memories.

A running theme in the movie was whether or not the possible sacrifice of men and machinery was worth the risk, for the sake of artwork. The leader of the rescue operation Frank Stokes, played by George Clooney, was repeatedly asked the question “is it worth it?” Those who have seen the movie, know what his answer was in the end. It is my hope that the audience also knows why his answer was what it was. It speaks a lot to our history and who we are as a nation and as human beings. George Clooney played a major role in the production of this movie. I am perplexed by the contrast between his interest in preserving our history through this movie and his support of the current administration, which is intent on distorting our history and wanting to fundamentally transform our country.

As a former paid employee of the Sun Theatre, I have witnessed the dedication of volunteers who willingly devote their time to make the theater what it is today. These people deserve a thank you. As the movie ended and we exited the theater, I noticed everyone was smiling. I also notice the generosity of those who donate hard earned dollars toward the same goal. I think this speaks well of our town. For after all, The Sun is part of our history and one of our treasures.