Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Two of the most influential types of media in the world have to be the music industry and the movie industry. These types of media surpass all others because they not only entertain but cause people to think. For every emotion that one has felt, there must be at least a couple dozen movies that center on that feeling and at least a couple hundred songs dedicated to that emotion alone. Humans are uniquely influenced by these outside sources.

Ever since I was a child, I have been enthralled by history. This evening, my sister and I sat down to a movie that momentarily threw color onto my black and white pictures of the story of Anne Boleyn. We watched The Other Boleyn Girl. Although I am intimately acquainted with this story, the movie version was so much more painful and real than a skillfully written book could ever have been. I was appalled by how the men with the movie connived to use the women in their lives to gain their own material wants. I remarked to my sister, “Women were merely pawns and objects for men to use in their mad determination for power.” Yet, Anne Boleyn must have had a heart of a man because she proved to be just as conniving as or more so than any of the men that tried to control her.

Anne Boleyn somehow perfected an art that women have been trying to ensnare from the beginning of days. She figured out how to lead a ‘merry chase.’ By continually refusing King Henry VIII advances, Anne only maximized his lust. No wonder she was considered a witch. While the men could openly control the lives of the women in their families, the women had to learn how to subtly lead these very men on to their own women’s’ hopes and desires. This story is particularly tragic because of how all the counter ambitions ensnare each other in their own web of conspiracy. King Henry VIII moves right along to continue in the process of discarding many other women.

Throughout this movie, my emotions were in perpetual turmoil. I did not know who to loathe. At first, I hated the men who had so much open control of the women. Then, as the story progressed I found that their ambitious drive was truly for not. I pitied them. Yet, in turn, I began to loathe my own ‘weaker sex.’ Anne deemed merely a pawn by her father and all males upset the game of court. Although she began the game as a pawn, Anne finished as Queen of England. Somehow, I have a sneaking suspicion that Anne must have hidden a pair of pants underneath her billowing skirt.

A song that seems to be particularly appropriate for this story is entitled Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson. The lyrics are simple. (the link for the song is below) Throughout The Other Boleyn Girl, the viewers can sense the oncoming storm even if they do not know the history of Anne Boleyn. Even in the darkest hours of the main characters, they somehow find the ability to keep breathing. It is a simple exhortation. One must keep breathing. And perhaps, in time, one may change the world indeed – for better or for worst.

p.s. the above portrait of Anne Boleyn is the compliments of rosewithoutathorn84 on flickr