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A compelling drama about fear
on June 25, 2000
This Mobil Masterpiece Theater production of an adapatation of Arthur Miller's play is a gripping look at both the dilemma of being Jewish in pre-war America, as well as a fascinating look at how fear can, literally, cripple a life.
The story revolves around a married Jewish couple, the Gellburgs, in Brooklyn in 1938. Mrs. Gellburg suddenly finds herself unable to move her legs, and becomes the patient of Dr. Hyman, played powerfully by Mandy Patinkin. Mr. Gellburg, in a way, also becomes the patient of Dr. Hyman as Mrs. Gellburg's diagnosis is revealed to be hysterical paralysis -- i.e., it's all in her head.
What Dr. Hyman is left to uncover about the Gellburgs, including both the extremely personal -- their marriage and their identity as Jews -- and the extremely impersonal -- the beginning of the torture and slaughter of Jews in Germany -- teaches great lessons about the choices we make in our lives; when to give in, when to stand up and say, "Enough." Fear can be either a force for change, or an excuse to avoid the inevitable pains of life.
I highly recommend this serious and thought-provoking drama; it provides much food for thought for people of any age or situation.