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The war of secession that one carries within | Culture

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In some cinemas the film titled Civil War, a North American and UK co-production, directed by Alex Garland. It deals with the US Civil War as a political metaphor applied to today’s world. North America is supposedly divided into two sides because of some confederate states fighting for their independence. Terror has taken over the space, violence and confusion reign everywhere, but no fronts or specific lines of fire appear and no one knows exactly why each soldier is fighting, except that you have to kill before they kill you. If man is a wolf to man, as Hobbes wrote, the first obligation is to save one’s skin. A group of journalists and photographers, whom today we call war correspondents, crosses the entire territory in a van heading to Washington in the middle of carnage in which no one makes sense. The journalists try to reach the White House before the rebel forces whose purpose is to kill the president do so. What is the supreme destiny of a war correspondent? The glory of having been there to tell it.

The leading actress is Kirsten Dunst, who on screen calls herself Lee in homage to Lee Miller, who among other things was a famous reporter in World War II. In the saints of all war correspondents and photographers who eat death every day there are three unappealable idols: Gerda Taro, the photographer friend of Robert Capa who was killed by a tank in the battle of Brunete during the war. Spanish civil; Capa himself, who after having braved all kinds of bombings, died as a rookie when he stepped on a mine in the Vietnam War; and the North American Lee Miller, who without abandoning the seduction that her beauty provided, became a witness to Nazi barbarism and ended up making cakes in her housewife’s kitchen.

Lee Miller started out as a magazine model Vogue In New York. One day the photographer Edward Steichen passed her on the street and did not stop pursuing her until he made her her lover. From him she had learned her first lessons with the camera. Lee began sending photos of her to the magazine until in 1929 she fell in the Paris of Montparnasse and her body became an explosive device in successive beds, from Man Ray to Picasso. After a life of seduction amid the bohemia of the 1920s and the hammocks and white armchairs of the Côte d’Azur, she married the English critic and art collector Roland Penrose and went to live in London.

The myth of Lee Miller began when he photographed the first German bombings of this city and later, in the company of photographer David Scherman, from the magazine Life, He embarked on the adventure behind the Allied battle tanks. With thick pants, a leather jacket and a camera swinging on his bomb-proof stomach, he forgot the days of that exquisite frivolity not exempt from aesthetic perversions in which Man Ray, in love with his body, had introduced him, and he put his blonde hair under a steel helmet to be the first to arrive in liberated Paris and appear covered in mud before Picasso, who took a while to recognize her. She had emerged unscathed under the rain of steel at the Normandy landings, had passed over thousands of corpses of Allied soldiers on Omaha Beach and was the first to reach the Dachau extermination camp and enter Hitler’s residence in Munich. to decorate yourself by taking a salt bath in your bathtub and taking a nap in your bed. While the friends escaped under the Nazi terror, Lee Miller has gone down in history for his glamor and open-grave courage.

In the film Civil War, The group of war correspondents encounters an armed guy on the road who subjects them to a very summary interrogation: “What kind of American are you?” he asks each of them. Depending on whether he likes the answer or not, he will pull the trigger and the machine gun will automatically vomit the lead. Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and Lee Miller knew where the front was and which side they were on. The war correspondents in this film ignore it. The viewer doesn’t know either. That warlord armed to the teeth with the question is only trying to know if you are on the side that suits you. In today’s world it is quite an adventure to guess. The viewer of this film only knows that the line of fire that marks independence passes through the interior of each one. What kind of American or what kind of Spanish are you? What side are you on? Are you sure you know what you want? You will have to answer these questions while pointing a machine gun at you.

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