Harry Potter: One Day Left!

I saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 today, and … I LOVED IT! (Warning, movie spoilers follow!)

It was really well done, especially if you adore the books, like i do. It was very accurate to the book, and beautiful to see the scenes from my mind translated wonderfully on to the screen. Lots of the dialogue seemed to be word-for-word from the book. There were a few small changes, there always are, but like Half-Blood Prince, they only served to make it work better as a film. Whoever’s idea it was to have Harry and Hermione dance in the tent, i congratulate you! That was perfect! Part 1 is extremely dark throughout: there is almost nothing to be happy about, but the action and suspense, and small bits of humour keep it easy to watch.

I am happy to see that they put the split point EXACTLY where i hoped they would. See my post from two and a half years ago: Eight HP Movies! (contains spoilers for Part 2). Part 1 contained everything i predicted (apart from the Harry/Ron hug, shame)!

So this means, and for me this is extremely exciting, whilst Part 1 took place over several months, Part 2 is going to span just one day1. There is SO MUCH action to pack into that one long day. I know people throw the word ‘epic’ around for just about everything these days, but Part 2 i think will really deserve the word. I came out of Part 1 feeling completely exhausted from emotional adrenaline. Part 2 is going to be all that and more!

The great thing about the movie in two parts is that Part 1 provides just enough clues that you could almost figure out what’s coming next. I spent some time exploring theories with my friend who saw it with me, who has not read the book yet. If it were all one movie you’d just get it all delivered to you with no time to think. There are plenty of twists yet to be revealed, and plenty of ends to tie up yet, but you really get the sense that everything is coming together. With eight months to wait until the end, and a DVD release to come, this is a very exciting time for the people who have only seen the movies and not read the books.

Two movies really works well. I am really glad they chose to do it that way and do real justice to the book. Credit to David Yates: i think the last three movies have been better than any of the first four, and i am extremely looking forward to the final exciting installment!

Footnotes

1 Oh, and the epilogue of course, but who cares about that! ;)

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This is why we need a bi community

There is a television drama series on BBC3 at the moment called Lip Service which depicts the lives of a group of lesbian and bisexual women in Glasgow. I’m really enjoying the show and i’m pleased that the BBC is doing something to increase the visibility of lesbian and bisexual women on television. It hasn’t done a great job of depicting bisexual people so far, but i was pleased in the last episode when they showed that Frankie’s bisexuality is more than just words.

The episode provoked a strong biphobic reaction from a lot of people who were apparently shocked to see Frankie, one of the main characters, having sex with a man. They apparently missed Frankie talking openly about being bisexual in the first episode and flirting with a man in the second episode. I wasn’t at all surprised at the way the story developed; it made perfect sense within the storyline.

I commented on twitter that it was a shame to see such a biphobic reaction. Somebody gave me this response:

not biphobic I don’t think, just disappointment that what was billed as a lesbian drama has turned out to be a bi one. That’s fair

Well unfortunately, that comment in itself sounded biphobic to me. I pressed the person whether a gay character in an otherwise straight drama would make the series a gay drama. As it turned out, the issue was more that they felt the show had been wrongly advertised.

We chatted a bit more. I said i thought it was realistic: bi people exist within the LGBT community, and we often feel marginalised, and i wondered whether they could see how these comments make us feel exculded. To which i got this response:

yes I totally agree that bi exsists in the queer community but not in the lesbian community, they are two conflicting lables

At this point i was so upset and shocked that i decided to pursue it no further and went to bed. But this should not be left unchallenged. This is prejudice from within the LGBT community: this person (who identifies as lesbian) believes that bisexual people are unwelcome in the lesbian community. This person claims not to be biphobic but makes comments like “LESBIANS DONT SHAG MEN!!!!!”

Bi women do exist within the lesbian community. Some are open about their bisexuality, and some are not. Some people who describe themselves as lesbian sometimes enjoy sleeping with men. Some are scared to admit their attraction to men in a community that might consider them a traitor. I know all this is true because i know people in these situations.

I just find it so sad that people who know what it’s like to be discriminated against feel it’s quite okay to do the same to others.

The upside to this is that it made me all the more grateful for the bi community, which is so accepting of everyone. Gay, lesbian and straight people are welcome in the bi community, as well as bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual and queer people. The bi community is a place where all kinds of people feel at home in their diversity. I rarely see discrimination, and i often see great care taken to be inclusive of everyone. People make an effort to learn about different minorities and how to be more encompassing. I’ve known people to feel terribly distressed if they unintentionally discriminated against somebody through their lack of understanding.

I was recently asked why we need a bi community. Being put on the spot, i floundered a little and said something like, “Because it’s nice to be part of a community where no questions are asked and no assumptions are made.” If i were to be asked the same question again now, i might answer, “Because, sadly, we are not always accepted within the wider LGBT community.”

I’m looking forward to Lip Service tonight, to see how the characters on screen react to Frankie having slept with Jay. I wonder whether the reaction will be similar or different to the overwhelming negative reaction on twitter.

A prayer for peace

I learnt this prayer on New Year’s Eve 1999 and it has stuck with me since then. It is a millennial prayer written by Churches Together in England and it speaks so strongly to me of peace, love and forgiveness. There is always a chance for a new start.

Let there be respect for the earth,
Peace for its people,
Love in our lives,
Delight in the good,
Forgiveness for past wrongs,
And from now on a new start.

Please, can we all just get along?

On not wearing a poppy

In recent years i have struggled with an internal conflict over whether or not to wear a poppy around Armistice Day. It is hard for me to feel anything but deep sorrow that war happens at all. It seems to me that the wearing of poppies may have become somewhat misconstrued. There seems to be less grieving and more … it almost feels like celebration … at least there is some kind of honour and heroism that goes along with it, and i find that impossible to associate with.

I know that war in the past has been necessary. I know that people were killed and injured and suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in order to give us the freedoms that we enjoy today. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, and i am grateful for what these people have done, and continue to do.

Yet my far stronger emotion is a powerful dislike of war that makes me want to distance myself from it. A red poppy to me speaks too strongly of violence and bloodshed. Everything within me longs for a peaceful alternative to the horror of war. I wish there was another way: i desperately desire peace and harmony, equality and freedom for all. I understand that these may be naive desires, and i certainly don’t understand everything about the history of wars and all the reasons for wars that are happening at the moment. Still, this is how i feel.

For me there are no heroes of war, only victims.

Feel free to try and change my mind. I’m still conflicted about this and i am aware that i could be wrong. At the moment, i’m choosing to pay my respects inwardly, as i feel the outward expression may be misinterpreted for something i don’t want it to be. So, for now at least, i’m choosing not to wear a poppy.