Wednesday, January 25, 2012
RUN LOLA RUN, ZOLA BUDD, AND TIME
The old women exists in the young one at least as a potential, and the young girl exists in the older, wiser woman. The child is the mother of the woman. All present in this visage.
The image of Zola Budd once flashed across the television screens of our minds, running barefoot, kitteny yet intense. Now she's older and wiser, yet I cannot read about her nor look at recent pictures of her without seeing the young girl there too.
We disagreed with her country's politics, we found her father authoritarian or despotic, but we didn't have it in us to think badly of kitteny Zola, who said she just wanted to run, without regard to money or medals.
In 1984, America's Olympic dream finished up the track after Zola's accidental clipping of heels with Mary Decker. The race is a slow motion replay, still repeating over and over, frozen forever in eternity.
Do we remember the winner? Heck, no. We only remember the tragedy hyped and suspended there, the possibly errant course of history, haunted by the lost potentials of the moment.
The eidetic imagery that appeared in the movie Run Lola Run also reminds me of Zola Budd. We pull for Lola as we once rooted for Zola, even though her family and love interest are flawed, involved with bad things. In the movie, Lola is given three shots at redemption for them.
Possibilities stretch out in all directions, but Lola learns to reflect on her previous errors in a world in which people do their best when kind, who learn gratitude through reflection toward empathy.
We can't control chance. What free will we have is really a free won't, as David Eagleman says. We can choose to react to situations with empathy instead of ego, to choose mercy over revenge. We can choose to be kind.
At the end of Run Zola Run, the immediate crisis is resolved, but things are still potentially dire. Her boyfriend is still a mule for the drug dealers, who are still in business. Just as at the end of It's A Wonderful Life, Mr. Potter still has the stolen money and he still has the upper hand.
This is the way of the world. We can't control the world, we can only control how we respond to it. We would hope to see that Lola talks her boyfriend into getting an honest job, and it's possible, but that isn't what this movie is about. Like Groundhog Day, Run Lola Run is about the choices we make every day.