rr took an excellent photo.
He seems strong and vigorous, seems a very old man only in that he is supremely himself and unconcerned with impression-management - in a way it takes a very long lifetime to become.
He sighed and clutched his head in his hands for long moments before answering questions, and then brought out gentle, considered words that I greedily wished I could scoop up and carry home to hoard. I took away with me just one word, in the end, but it summed up all the rest: acknowledgement. That human experience, suffering, most demands acknowledgement. It's a synonym for 'hold everything dear', isn't it? It was the message, he felt, of the film.
Such an important word: acknowledgement of the effects of war, pain, fear, oppression. And I think of the word's significance on a daily, less dramatic scale. Why is it draining and maddening to live in our society of cliched slogans, automatic voices and call-centre operatives reading from a script? Because they deny the most basic need for interaction with other human beings who acknowledge us as their fellows.
Acknowledgement. Bearing witness. Sufficient motive for living, speaking, writing, for everything that I 'hold dear'. One word I'm grateful for. One smile, one mind, one body of work I'm grateful for.
He could whisper to people softly about the worst that could happen to them, and they somehow suffered a little less!
Berger on Pasolini