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audreyhawkins

audreyhawkins

HHhH - Laurent Binet, Sam Taylor Binet has a good story to tell, but he gets in his own way. He constantly interrupts the story of the assassination to wax philosophical about the limits of fiction and historical knowledge. He wants to tell the comprehensive truth about every last detail. And then he fills you in on every last detail, as well as every book he read to research the subject, every movie he saw, every exhibit he visited. He doubts that fiction can tell any kind of truth of its own, so he doesn't trust his own narrative. Binet seems to feel like no representation could ever live up to the real thing. He strives to recreate it, but if that's your goal, prose is a pale shadow next to living, breathing reality. If he had anything more interesting to say, maybe this would have worked, but Binet is perhaps uninterested in the other uses of art. In the end, I don't really care if the car Heydrich drove was black or dark green. There are larger truths art can tell, and if you don't believe that, don't be an artist. If you do believe it, don't be so cute about it. It's a shame because the story he wants to tell is an important one, and could have been gripping to boot. Put in direct juxtaposition with the Holocaust, Binet's hemming and hawing and shuffling of feet adds up to so much self-indulgent, post-modern onanism.