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March 28, 1990 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1990-03-28

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The Michigan Daily --Wednesday, March 28, 1990 - Page 11

Love walks down a two-way street

Pretty Woman
dir. Garry Marshall
by Brent Edwards
You say tom-ay-to, I say tom-
ah-to; You say sleep with me, I
say not for free. Gershwin's "Let's
Call the Whole Thing Off" is
combined with Porter's "Love For
Sale" to produce the story for the
new romantic-comedy Pretty
Woman with "When Your Lover
Has Gone" thrown in for a little
romantic suspense before "Our
Love Is Here To Stay" provides the
happy conclusion.
This film by Garry Marshall is
typical lighthearted fare which, as
long as you don't think too hard
about the premise, provides smiles
and chuckles throughout. Looking
dashing and sophisticated with his
head full of gray hair, Richard Gere
is Mr. Perfect: cultured, suave,
hard-working and rich. Extremely
rich. So rich that he hires
Hollywood hooker Julia Roberts
(Mystic Pizza, Steel Magnolias)
for six days so she can, among
other activities, accompany him to
social functions during his stay in
Los Angeles. Why her? Because
she is, as the title suggests, a
pretty woman.
Gere succinctly sums up the
one common bond he shares with
Roberts when he says, "We both
screw people for money" (and he
also probably doesn't kiss his
clients on the lips for the same
reason she doesn't). Since these
two people have nothing else in
common, they must, of course, fall
in love.
The freshness and wide-eyed zeal
that Roberts gives to her role keeps

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts star in Pretty Woman, directed by Garrry

Marshall. Van Halen's version of the
featured in the film.
the film enjoyable throughout. She
makes her prostitute's childish 1
innocence believable and this is the
basis of her appeal to Gere. The
difficulties she encounters adapting
to the rich life - how to eat a
snail, for example - are amusing
though predictable. Gere is
comfortable playing the straight
man, teaching her tidbits such as
not to fidgit, leaving most of the
laughs for Roberts. When Gere +
tries to seduce her the first night
that she's hired, Roberts responds,
"I appreciate this whole seduction
thing, but let me give you a tip:
I'm a sure thing." Comedian Larry
Miller steals the rest of the laughs +
with his brief appearance as a self-
deprecating salestoady who will do
and say anything for a customer
with money.
Which brings up the following
question: would Julia Roberts have

song of the same name is not
fallen in love with Richard Gere if
he hadn't bought half of Rodeo
Drive for her and flown her to San
Fransisco for an opera? Probably
not. Crying at the opera to prove
she's sensitive and teaching Gere to
walk on grass barefoot probably
isn't reason enough for Gere to
marry her either (although when he
walked barefoot in a park after leav-
ing her I felt moved enough to take
off my own shoes and socks and
feel the sticky popcorn squish
between my toes). These plot
lapses might cause Pretty Woman
to bring out the cynic in you if
you attempt any cerebral activity
during or soon after the film, so try
not to think. Also, the ending is
horrificly hokey, which is probably
to be expected. Oh well, You say
good fun, I say bad pun...
PRETTY WOMAN is playing at
Showcase.

A Dream Compels Us: Voices
of Salvadoran Women
New American Press (ed.)
South End Press
During the last decade, reams of
material have been written about the
war in El Salvador. But rarely has all
the print about El Salvador's oppres-
sive government and the guerrilla
army fighting against it translated
into a description of what that free-
dom will entail or what self determi-
nation in a Salvadoran context
means. Clear on what Salvador's
guerrillas are fighting against, all
too many North Americans - in-
cluding the FMLN's staunchest sup-
porters - are all too unclear on
what they stand for.
A Dream Compels Us, a magnif-
icent collection of interviews, let-
ters, narratives and poetry by and
about Salvadoran women, goes a
long way toward furthering the dis-
cussion concerning what, despite its
opposition to Washington's murder-
ous policy, binds the majority of El
Salvador's people in opposition to
their government. Unlike many pre-
vious revolutions in this century -
all too often fought in the name of
"the people" rather than by them -
El Salvador's revolutionary process
has been a genuinely popular one. It
has spawned countless committees
and incorporated numerous sectors of
the population.
As A Dream Compels Us
demonstrates, women have been em-
powered by this process to initiate
their own revolution against the
machismo and accompanying gender
roles that have traditionally domi-
nated their lives in El Salvador.
Again and again, women here recall
a time when their only goal in life
was to get married and have children;
each time, their subsequent struggle
against the injustice in El Salvador
leads to their gradual emancipation
and growing self confidence in their
position as historical agents rather
than passive subjects.
Nonetheless, that emancipation is

far from complete. Despite some
rather heady statements by the col-
lection's editors, the testimony of
these women frquently underscores
how, much like the national struggle
in which they are engaged, their
march to freedom is a long and un-
even one. "I'm not saying," insists
Mireya, an organizer in one of El
Salvador's liberated zones, "we
won't have problems (with men)
later on. We might." But, she goes
on to insist, "after almost eight
years of struggle... women's partici-
pation is eradicating machismo."
Still, machismo remains as
strong as ever among El Salvador's
Army, giving a sense of both how
far the liberation movement has pro-
gressed ideologically, as well as how
much more women who join that
movement risk than their male com-
rades. In some of the most painful
passages in the book women such as
Ana Guadelupe Martinez - now a
senior diplomatic spokesperson for
the FMLN - and Reina Isabel, di-
rector of the Christian Committee of
the Displaced in El Salvador
(CRIPDES), recount their experi-
ences of torture at the hands of the
armed forces.
"This one is much worse than the
first one and I hit the floor again...
the current is running through my
legs, leaving them immobile,"
writes Martinez of her first experi-
ence with electrical shock treatment.
As she steadfastly refuses to name
names, the brutal treatment gets
even worse: "This whore doesn't
know anything. Put an electrode on
her tits.... Put another one in her
vagina."
"He put the hood (filled with
lime) back over my head a fifth
time, and pulled me up by my hair
and. hands, which were still hand-
cuffed behind me," writes Isabel.
"Then some other men kneed me in
the thorax and beat me on the base
of the spine. They dropped me again
and I fainted. When I came to, they
kicked at me to get up, but I fell

-M
down again, and my whole body was
shaking..."
The Salvadoran military's torture
techniques - learned at CIA head-
quarters in Virginia - provide only
a small microcosm of the oppression
that all the Salvadoran people,
women as well as men, suffer. It is
in this context that the Salvadoran:
women's organization AMES,
writes, in a brilliant theoretical trea-
tise included in the volume, that M
"our class interests transcend those-
of gender." "What," AMES writes;
"has a Domitila, a working-class
woman of the Bolivian mines, to do
with the wife of Abdul Gutierrez, the ~
bloody colonel of the military junta
of El Salvador?"
In asking this question, neither k
AMES nor any of the other women;
in A Dream Compels Us deny the
importance of their liberation as
women. Rather, in a loving tribute -
to the Salvadoran revolution, they
pay homage to popular movements
which have begun to make women's
struggles their own, thereby obviatJ W
ing the very question of whose liber.
ation comes first.
Though they refuse to call them
selves feminists, these women exude'
a profound understanding of the in-
terrelation between gender oppres-
sion and class exploitation that gets
to the heart of what a vibrant, broad-
based women's movement can be 7_.;
As a consequence, their visions o--
the future and how to get there pro-
vide real sustenance for those hungry
enough to live for a compelling
dream and an egalitarian world.
-Mike Fischer
k
4 J
WEEKEND
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