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Brief Encounter II

Posted by Thersites on UTC 2016-01-18 10:08.

In the 1945 film Brief Encounter, a man and a woman, two complete strangers, meet at a railway station. There is indeed a fruitless subsequent affair, but the whole thing fizzles out respectably enough. There is no rape, no groping, no intoxication of the alcoholic sort. There is high passion and the bitterness of a final separation. The film was only a romantic dream and young women of the time knew it: Celia Johnson might bump into Trevor Howard, but she might also bump into the Mad Axeman – or worse.

It is for that reason that down the generations the older females in a good family have always given the younger females a solid piece of advice: whatever you do, never trust a man. In German-speaking countries it is a popular saying: Trau' keinem unter siebzig, 'Don't trust any man under 70'. The age limit should perhaps be revised upwards these days to take into account the sprightly new generation of predatory pensioners lurking at bus stops and on public transport, but the principle still applies. It was the duty of every mother and aunt to drum that saying into the heads of their daughters and nieces.

A piece in Austria's Kronen Zeitung dated 17.01.2016, alerts us to the plot of Brief Encounter II (2016).

In the new version Celia encounters Trevor on a train from the Wiener Neustadt to Wien. They get to talking and she, the petite 18-year-old, found the lanky 21-year-old stranger sympathisch. They both decided to sit on a park bench in the Prater park drinking. Just as in 1945, romance was in the air, despite the subzero temperatures. About two o'clock in the morning Trevor raped Celia 'from behind' on the park bench. She managed to free herself and run off, but Trevor caught her up and was about to give her another dose of bitter-sweet romance when the security personnel in the park arrived, alerted by her screams.

The famous ferris wheel in the Prater park in Vienna.

The famous Riesenrad, ferris wheel, in the Prater park in Vienna, well known to fans of The Third Man (1949). Celia ran through here trying to get away after the first attack.
Photo: Martin A. Jöchl, Kronen Zeitung, Austria.

Of course there is a lot to the story that we have excluded from our summary of the plot of Brief Encounter II. Trevor is an Afghan staying at a refugee house in Vienna, who apparently has given his reason for the attack as: 'I want sex'.

We know little about Celia, but the only thing we can be sure of is that she either wasn't told, or that she wasn't listening when she was told: Trau' keinem unter siebzig.

This incident is not a migrant problem, it's a stupidity problem.