What does this 1949 film, set in post-WWII Vienna, tell us about the black market in post war Europe? How does the story of Anna’s plight reflect the fate of citizens of East European countries occupied by Soviet forces? Why does Anna persist in her loyalty to black marketer Harry Lime even after being informed that his activities caused children who had contracted Meningitis to die after being given diluted penicillin? Why does Harry’s old friend Holly Martins vacillate in that regard, even after having seen the harm first hand? Is it loyalty to Harry, or compassion for Anna? How does the charisma of the sociopathic Harry account for this moral blindness on the part of these two main characters? How does this movie cause us to consider the connection between physical, psychological or emotional distance and the capacity for inhuman behavior? Is it a cautionary tale for all of us?

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