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Death and the Mistaken Perspective

Richard Gere in a still from Primal Fear(1996). Image Source: IMDB.
I first saw the American film, Primal Fear, dubbed in German while working in Munich in the summer of 1996. I was left with a curious impression of the movie. I had an initial intuitive understanding based on the action and a non-native grasp of the language. Later, once I saw the movie again in my native English, I had a much more rational, analytical and considered sense of the nuances of plot and character.

If you have ever lived in a foreign country, immersed in an environment where you cannot fully speak the language or do not know the culture, you know what it means to float through a sea of partial understanding. It is a state of perpetual uncertainty until you finally catch on. The experience can lead one to question how one perceives things. The native speakers are so self-assured. On the other hand, the outsider, who is less confident, gains the ability to observe the natives' unrecognized uncertainties i…

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