Thursday 19 December 2013

Of crimes and trains

I watched yesterday on the BBC The Great Train Robbery, based on, well, the great train robbery of 1963. It created a bit of controversy, as some people thought it was glorifying criminals. But I think the story had to be told and is very relevant. Because it made UK crime history. Heck, it made history, period. And however delicate the subject matter, I believe in the importance of memory. That, and I find such historical crime drama, history turned into fiction, to be cathartic. I loved it anyway, loved the top class acting and the characterization, the setting, everything. It was quality. And tonight there is the second part, showing the following investigation.

And watching it, something struck me about their motivations: I wonder if the robbers did not do it because they were going to rob a train and not a bank, that they didn't do it at least partially because it was an exciting setting. A train, in motion, that you need to stop, to ride a little bit even, then to empty of its content. They had to take into the account railways, signals, workers, a whole web of elements that make train travel possible and that don't exist in a bank. I think their was a bit of boyish mischief in their crime. Are there any children not fascinated, to a degree, by trains? And so many remain fascinated by trains as adults. I know I am. So I wonder if that was not their motivation: to play with a toy.

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