Friday, December 01, 2006

Lightning Strikes Twice!

This is a photo from the famous Russian film "Burnt by the Sun" (1994). The story is about a Russian family that was burnt by the sun of revolution during the 1930s.

The man on the left disguised in the dark glasses and beard is Mitya, a treacherous officer of Stalin's State Security. After a long posting abroad as a spy, Mitya has returned to the home of the kindergartener, Nadya, in order to arrest her father on fabricated charges of treason.

Little Nadya suspects that her mysterious blind visitor is the Summer Santa because he is wearing a beard. Her father, a decorated Soviet general, soon knows the truth but keeps it from his family so that they can enjoy a final day of happiness together.

Mitya once had a love affair with this child's mother and a falling out with her father because of his character flaws, so now Mitya is using his official position to revenge himself on this innocent child's entire family. In the process of exacting his personal vendetta under the cloak of authority, Mitya will liquidate even totally innocent bystanders who have no idea of the game he is playing.

Eventually, Mitya will kill himself by cutting his wrists in the bathtub while the film's theme-song, the famous "suicide tango," plays in the background. Mitya has betrayed everyone, including himself. Short sound clip of Ta ostatnia niedziela (WMA format) [Wikipedia]

As I noted earlier, ball lightning is an important symbol in this play for the random terror that visited millions of people during the Stalin years. Ball lightning is very dangerous and unpredictable.

I think this ball lightning is also a good symbol for the polonium attack in London that has killed a former Russian officer of the State Security, Alexander Litvinenko, and has now poisoned and hospitalized a second man.

According to the Times (12-2-06):

"Police fear that the murder of a former Kremlin spy may have been part of a double killing plot after a second man was taken to hospital last night with radiation poisoning.

The Anti-Terror Group is examining whether the killers of Alexander Litvinenko also tried to poison Mario Scaramella, an Italian security expert who met the Russian exile on the day that he fell ill.

Toxicologists confirmed yesterday that Mr Scaramella had also been contaminated by a “significant” amount of deadly polonium-210. The level leads them to suspect that it was more than he could have ingested from simple physical contact with Litvinenko....

Detectives believe that a sizeable team travelled from Russia to smuggle the polonium-210 into Britain and shadow Litvinenko. There is a suspicion that Litvinenko’s mobile telephone was bugged and the surveillance team knew of his meeting with the Italian security expert, who had taken part in a parliamentary investigation in Rome into KGB dirty tricks." [the rest]


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