Friday, November 14, 2014

that's a thick door

Photographs of Afghanistan from the 1970s and '80s

In the film Charlie Wilson's War, after Wilson asks CIA agent Avrakotos What is U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, and Avrakotos replies strictly speaking we don't have one but we're working hard on that -- Who's we? -- Me and three other guys, there's a sequence of scenes where it's like a slapstick scene in an old movie -- like Mack Sennett's Keystone Cops,

or a Preston Sturges "screwball comedy",

only more all happens in Congressman Wilson's office:

First, Wilson and Avrakotos are talking about the Afghan war against Soviet invaders.  Then Wilson's aide Bonnie Bach knocks and enters, speaks to the congressman in a low voice, and he says, "Gus I need the room for a second" and Gust Avrakotos exits through a door at the back.

Then the rest of Congressman Wilson's office assistants sort of "pour" into the office and stand in front of his desk telling him about this urgent problem that has come up.

He listens, says "Oh shit" and then sends them hurrying back out again, to "start on a statement" -- he calls Gust back in again.  And the two of them discuss the Afghan situation and try to sift the "dirt and shells" out from the "seed" of their information about the Afghans' resistance effort.