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LETTERS

Postwar hardship

August 03, 2003

Re Rand Richards Cooper's article on Stephen Frears and his film "Dirty Pretty Things" ("London, Through a Mind Darkly," July 20):

I was intrigued by Cooper's observation that Frears' characters live in a "cinematic nightmare of life beyond the pale of middle-class comforts [which] traces to a childhood eked out during World War II and the hard years afterward."

I'm a year older than Mr. Frears and I have a good memory. Mr. Frears grew up in Leicester. I grew up in the country around Norwich in Norfolk -- a few miles to the southeast of Leicester. I heard bombers going overhead en route to Germany. The only hard part of the years following World War II was the food rationing, which didn't end until 1952. Sugar went off rationing for a short while in 1947, but greedy people went out and bought it all up right away, leaving none for anyone else, so back on rationing it went.

My thanks to Mr. Cooper for bringing back fond memories of my childhood, even though it was during a tough time. Perhaps Mr. Frears' movie will give me insight into what he went through during those years.

Angie Lohman

South Pasadena

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