Thursday, 15 October 2009

Moving TV/radio

I saw and heard a couple of things on TV/radio this week which moved me. I'm not usually squeamish or sentimental, but for whatever reason I found these accounts very sad and quite chilling.

Last night was the The Force, a TV documentary of a real murder case from start (discovering a burnt, unidentifiable body in a suitcase in the countryside) right through to its end. The whole account is tragic, right from the start where they can't even identify the body. But towards the end, they show the killer on CCTV carrying a large suitcase up to his flat with one hand, light as a feather; then straight afterwards, it shows him dragging it out along the ground, clearly holding something very heavy. Very few films or programs have made me feel so cold.

Earlier in the day, I listened to Michael Buerk's program The Choice, starting a new series on BBC Radio 4. This interviewee was Stuart Howarth, a man who was abused as a child by his stepfather in lots of horrible ways I won't mention here. It was strange and yet very human hearing the man's obvious love and adoration for the father figure he remembered despite the terrible nature of abuse. But what I found most interesting was his reaction to his mother, after his stepfather had been sent to prison, finally revealing that he wasn't Stuart's real father at all: "I hated her". It seemed very strange to hear how a man could love his abuser so strongly and yet hate his mother for something which seemed comparatively irrelevant.

Not the most uplifting blog post I know, sorry if I've darkened your day somewhat. But I think it's good and right that these kind of programs are on and out there. They remind us that bad things really do happen, in a way that doesn't glamorise or trivialise the mundane and human side of these events.

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