tv Charlie Rose PBS April 11, 2014 12:00am-1:01am PDT
>> charlie: welcome to the program. tonight, christine lagarde, managing director of the imf. >> what i find actually amazing is how the situation can change. if i look back on the, you know, four or five years ago, everybody was in this, you know, terrible, dreadful situation, everything was negative, everything was down, everybody was downbeat and pessimistic. if you look now, we're only five years into it, some might say, well, it's a terribly long time, but the situation has changed incredibly. so it's the action that individuals, that policymakers, that players can actually exercise on the general situation that i find quite remarkable. >> charlie: and we talk about an extraordinary movie based on a real-life story. the movie is called "the railway
man." >> you're being entrusted with something so precious. what eric went through to get this story out, what he went through in order to reach the conclusion of that book is immense and is very precious. it's not just precious because of what he and patti achieved, it's also the fact that he's representing an awful lot of other men who have been silent on the subject. we have a whole generation of people. so he's a voice for them. >> charlie: christine lagarde, managing director of the imf and the new movie called "the railway man," next. >> there's a saying around here: you stand behind what you say. around here, we don't make
excuses, we make commitments. and when you can't live up to them, you own up and make it right. some people think the kind of accountability that thrives on so many streets in this country has gone missing in the places where it's needed most. but i know you'll still find it, when you know where to look. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. (applause) >> charlie: good to be here in washington at the meeting of the imf with the managing director christine lagarde. what do you hope to accomplish here in this meeting?
>> at this meeting, there will be 188 representatives of the membership of the imf. it's pretty much the global economy is in washington for three days, and we are at the point where the economy has turned the corner -- or is turning the corner, rather, of the great recession, and we know that everybody has more to do, so they need to talk to each other, to explain what more they're going to do, how it's going to impact on their respective economy and what -- how it will affect the others' economy and there will be one particular issue that i hope we can address which is the reform of the imf and making sure we find a way forward to strengthen the institution and make sure that the membership stays together, including with the leadership of the u.s. >> i assume, also, that the fact that there are central bank people here, there are finance
ministers here, but part of the message that comes out of here is for a larger community, a political community, as well as an investment in financial community that exists outside of government and non-government organizations. >> right. >> charlie: where are we in terms of the global economic recovery? >> okay. global growth, we've seen it go from 3 to 3.6 to probably 4% between '13, '14 and '15. so there's progress, positive. not strong enough, no exponential, but positive. that's why i say it's turning the corner of the great recession. the u.s. is doing reasonably well. our assumption is that it will deliver a 2.8% growth in 2014, which is not our potential. the united states could do better than that and certainly create more jobs, but at least it's moving at a reasonably good
state. it's not hampered by the fiscal break there was last year and the private sector is beginning to unleash and return to investments and job creations. the euro zone is finally turning the corner as well. it's turning positive. it had been negative for a few years. it's now positive, and the core countries are doing certainly better. germany being the best of the lot. the southern countries of the euro zone, such as spain, italy, greece, are finally delivering positive growth results as well. if you look at the emerging market economies, they are slowing down a bit, but they are still cruising at about 5% growth, which is, you know, almost double the growth of the united states. now, if you look at what they present compared to the global
economy, they're 50%. 50% of the global economy is in the hand of emerging and developing market economies, and if you assume they grow at that 5%, they are gaining traction and strength. >> charlie: so, therefore, they should play a larger role in the imf. >> that's one con queens, you're right. but it also means that their policy and the impact of, say, the fed monetary policy on them matters not just for themselves but the global economy given the size they represent. >> charlie: we've had tapering in the united states by the federal reserve. >> yes. >> charlie: you've urged the central bankers in europe to do what? >> for quite a while at the imf, we have encouraged the european central bank to be very conscious of the risk of
sustained low inflation, which we believe would be hurting growth, jobs and not particularly helpful for the service of debt. i was very encouraged to see that, after having praised the generosity of the imf last week, my friend mario has indicated that aware of the inflation risk, he would be prepared to take measurers appropriate and in due course, and i trust his judgment to do the right thing at the right time. >> charlie: you seem to be saying to the world and the global economy, let's make sure that we maintain low interest rates. >> we are saying that we feel that interests will remain low for probably a bit longer than we think. >> charlie: than you think is necessary? >> than we think is necessary and that everybody expects, and i think we have to prepare for that and be very attentive to the risks that it creates on
markets when you have, you know, not benign but very relatively easy financing, and, at the same time, growth picking up. that could create, you know, spots on the markets where there is a little bit too much exhilaration, exuberance, if you will. >> charlie: the big question here and for the united states and for the global economy is how do you create growth? >> and, as a subset of that, or, rather, a key consequence, how do you create jobs? because we still have 200 million people looking for jobs in the world. well, it's a task that the president of the g20, the australian presidency, has decided to tackle with the australian energy about it. and the australian presidency has asked us to modellize, if
you will, an improvement of global growth by 2 percentage points over the next five years, which would put everybody in a much better position. now, we did do that, and we identified what should be done in terms of key structural reforms, in terms of normalization of monetary policy, in terms of rightly-paced fiscal consolidation, and that coordinated approach, with the right policies, can actually deliver 2 percentage points more in five years. but countries have to -- >> charlie: to the overall global economy. >> yes. >> charlie: and what are those structural reforms you think are central? >> they will differ on a country-by-country basis. but let me give you an example. you have countries where
unemployment has been almost structural. if it is structural, then a structural reform is needed. and you have countries with dual labor markets where the protected people under contract have the benefit of long-term employment, and all the others are on fixed term, limited term, interim and clerkships and that's a dual contract not conducive to growth or job creation. so that's one set of reform. it would apply to a country like spain who has just taken that reform, but also to south africa who has had indeemic unemployment and to other european countries for sure. other structural reforms take to countries like brazil or india that have big bottlenecks. you know, you want to create a big, new retail system in india. fine. but you need to have the
infrastructure, the warehousing, the way to take stuff from where it is stored to the retail sector. brazil is now, i think, tackling this issue because they have the world cup, the limited games and have to move from building stadiums to roads to airports. those bottlenecks have to be cleared and that's not so much in the structural reform buckets but in the infrastructure. >> charlie: i read a recent piece by larry summers in -- >> that's good reading. >> charlie: yes, in the financial times. and he was talking about the idea that the most important thing you can do today for growth is an investment in infrastructure, not only because it will create some demand in the economy and jobs, but also it helps economy expand. you share that view of his? >> i don't think that we have a
one-size-fits-all solution, go for infrastructure and it will work. it's a bit more complicated than that and on a per-country basis. but given that there is low-cost financing still for the moment and given that the capital investment has been low over the course of the next five, six years when countries had really tightened their belt and forgotten about investing in infrastructure, forgot about investing in capital, for some of the countries, those who with can afford it, it's not a bad idea. the u.s. is one that could look at it. germany is one that could look at it as well. now, one would think germany -- germany can certainly invest in improving its electricity grade system and -- >> charlie: speaking of europe, has the imf take an different attitude about the british economic reform and its program of austerity so that you
are not -- how shall we say this -- admonishing them? >> you know, we revised our projection for the u.k. significantly. >> charlie: yeah, the highest projection there. >> it's a very high projection. frankly, we are delighted that the u.k. is growing at that speed, at that pace and we certainly hope it can consolidate -- rather not consolidate fiscally, but strengthen that growth going forward and make it three engines powered. for the moment, it's predominantly driven by consumption. >> charlie: yes. also, when the u.k. has to export more, the u.k. has to invest more, and i'm sure they will be looking at it. the numbers are beginning to rise, which is good. >> charlie: two things about reform you have talked about and
then we'll talk about fiscal reform. one is women and what they had to the job force. i just saw your "women in the world" conference in new york. >> right. >> charlie: help us understand what more ideas to make sure that women are more involved in the bork force will do for global economy. >> i'll give you the example of two countries, charlie. one is japan, the other one is korea, and then i could think of other examples, but those two are critical because they present the same aging phenomenon to a society where people are aging, where the tolerance for immigration is not very high, and where there is woman power force, not manpower force. so the way to approach the issue
is women joining the job market. they're highly educated and as competent as their male colleagues. but there is no infrastructure, no daycare centers and there is a cultural reluctance to accept the idea. i was pleased to see both the prime minister and the president have both decided to embark on the journey of including women in the workforce, making sure that they have the facilities and access to the daycare center. i was just talking to the vice premier and prime minister of japan who assured me it will be in the next appropriation in june and many cities in japan are putting in place structures tto if facilitate that. we have numbers to document what the result would be if women were given same access as men to the jobs market.
>> charlie: as i remember, the economic growth rate for japan is about 1.4. >> yeah, that's right. they could certainly do with a bit more. >> charlie: are they on the right track, do you think? >> you know, they have planned on doing this three-arrows strategy. the first arrow was to double inflation, moving it from below to 2%, doubling the monetary mass, approaching on the markets by this central bank of japan. they are doing it and it's showing results. inflation is up. the second arrow was to address the fiscal situation, because they have a clear deficit and they need to have a broad base from which to raise revenue because revenue is, you know, not very high in japan. taxation is relatively low. they just did that april 1. they need to do more. i asked the question to the vice premier and prime minister, i said, where is the third arrow? you showed me it's on the way
and many of them will actually be appropriated in the month of june. so we're following that very carefully. >> charlie: you also talk here at this meeting about income and equality. >> yep. >> charlie: and what can be done and what's the impact of it and what's the risk of it going forward. >> we are looking at income equality because we believe it is macro critical. in other words, it's raising a point where it really can have a destabilizing and detrimental impact on the growth of economies and on economies in general. so we've done two critical studies in my view, because we are looking at it not from a political or ideological angle, we're just trying to understand the fact and the relationship and the correlation. and the two studies are, one, is
inequality, excessive inequality hurting growth, and the answer seems unambiguously yes, it's hurting sustainable growth. and the second study we did which goes against conventional wisdom was -- is redistributionn policies, if correctly articulated, redistribution policies are a break on growth. which is conventional wisdom. everyone assumed if you do redistribution then people will not be attracted to producing more, earning more, doing more, because the more is going to other people. >> charlie: in the united states, they talk about when you raise the minimum wage, is that going to have an impact on employment overall. >> we have also minimum wage, but we have looked at redistributive policies
articulated around more progressive taxation, more spending on education, on health care to make sure that people have equal opportunities rather than unequal opportunities, and those studies really clearly indicate that that level of distribution or that category of redistribution is supportive of growth. >> charlie: you have also said that it's important to come to almost closure with respect to certainty on financial regulation. >> yes. >> charlie: where are we? by the way, charlie, it's one of the very, very few issues where i am in agreement with the financial marketplace. >> charlie: yes. they also want certainty. we're not talking about the same certainty. >> charlie: go ahead. why is certainty necessary?
so that they know how much reserve they much keep? how much capital they must raise? what is the level of liquidity and what will be the powers exercised by supervisors? they need to know where they are operating. we are three-fourths of the way there, but the job is not completed, yet. there are, as usual, the trickiest points are left for the last hour, and i would put in that category the cross border resolution regime, for instance, the resolution applicable to the very large financial institutions, the globally systemic financial institutions. i would put in there the appropriate control and supervision of shadow banking,
which is, you know, significant increase both in the u.s. and china, for instance. and i would also put in there real transparency and clear regulation and supervision of the derivative markets and system. >> charlie: do you believe that the united states and dodd frank is a movement in the right direction? >> any piece of legislation -- and i don't want to, you know say it's good, it's bad, it's 80% right, but it's not yet implementable or implemented. there is still a lot of interpretation. >> charlie: and voluminous. yes. as usual, the secondary legislation and then the interpretation book is going to be even bigger than the voluminous dodd frank act.
it's comprehensive but i'm not sure very broadly applied or understood. >> charlie: let me come back to the governments and imf and increasing membership and responsibilities and the agreement that took place at the g20. where do we stand on those very important things about the 21st century? you hear more and more that if you have as large economy as china has or brazil or -- >> it should have a large piece at the table. >> charlie: right. is that going to happen? >> that was initiated in 2010. >> charlie: right. strongly pushed by all members, certainly very strongly pushed by the nate, and we all agreed on a reform that was to be completed in 2012. >> charlie: right. we're not there yet. >> charlie: why not? we're not there because the u.s. has not ratified. you know, i'm being very blunt because, you know, we have been sort of cute about it for a while, but it's essentially because, at the moment, the united states has not ratified. and it's --
>> charlie: is there a difference between the executive branch and the -- >> yeah. >> charlie: -- legislative branch? >> i think it's a perennial difference, but, you know, for some reason we have been a bit of collateral damage of the difference we see at the moment. you know, it's an international commitment that was made by the country. the united states is my biggest shareholder. it does exercise leadership in many situations and, when it did, historically, it was quite often helpful, and now we are stuck. so i very much hope that the leaders who are attending the meetings this week, the prime ministers and presidents back at home will be calling on the united states. there is two things. one, there is proper representation of the membership so that china has the right seat
at the table, brazil is duly represented, south africa has the right seat and so forth, and the imf has secured, long-term resources, rather than, you know, being the man who is asked to extinguish the fire. >> charlie: i'm trained in the law as you are, but you went on and learned economics and i didn't. i always thought inflation was a bad thing. but it seemed to me that there's a conversation about inflation that i don't quite understand. what is it that we need to know about the impact of inflation on the global economy today? >> well, first of all, i regard you as highly read and trained in all matters. so to discount your
understanding is a bit of an understatement and mine is probably not better than yours. >> charlie: i certainly hope so. >> common sense is sometimes worth more than highly sophisticated theories. but back to inflation, i think it was a few decades back, particularly when monetary policies were, you know, declared better flexible, a certain amount of inflation was determined as good and helpful. helpful for growth because, if you know that it might be a bit more expensive tomorrow or next week, it prompts you to actually decide to spend. you buy equity, you buy clothes, you decide to go for the car that you always wanted to have, so on and so forth, because it's a bargain today and will be more expensive tomorrow. shouldn't be too much because otherwise you run into a very
disruptive scene and degree of inflation, which is why quite a few monetary assistance adopted either the objective of inflation like the bcb or a target like the fed, and some of them a band with which to keep inflation so it's under control but high enough so that it stimulates growth going forward. >> charlie: i always thought low interest rates were good and that that was good for a lot of reasons because what happened in the great recession in america is we had a recession and, because of tight money, it became a great recession. so too tight money was not always a good thing. >> true, true. again, it's a question of measure and balance and, you know, obviously, inflation rates and interest rates go together and have to sort of balance out. there's a tradeoff between the
two. >> charlie: what's the most surprising thing about the economy you've learned since you have been the managing director of the imf? >> what i find actually amazing is how the situation can change. if i look back on the, you know -- if i look back only four or five years ago, everybody was in this terrible, dreadful dreal situation, everything was negative, everything was down and people were pessimistic. if you look now, we're only five years into it. some might say it's a terribly long time, but the situation has changed incredibly. so it's the action that individuals, that policymakers, that players can actually exercise on the general situation that i find quite remarkable. it's not enough. it's too slow. it's not even as it should be. but it's moving. >> charlie: and then there's also the impact of culture in
terms of how a nation reacts to economic factors. >> yes. >> charlie: and it's a balance between sort of the state and the private sector, you know, as factors in the economy. ukraine. >> mm-hmm. >> charlie: tell me what the imf can do, will do, wants to do. whatever you choose (laughter) >> what we want to do because it's our mission is to help, if the country wants our help, and the country wants our help and the help of the international community. so we're here to serve. ukraine is a member, has paid its dues, paid its reimbursement because it is in debt with the imf, so we want to help. what iwhat if we done? the moment we were called, we sent a team on the ground. we were there.
there are crisis management experts. they know how to look under the skin of a country and know how to open all the books and check against the reality, and they did all that. they moved into negotiation mode, and we have now what we call a soft agreement between the ukrainian authorities to address the key issues -- the exchange rate, the face cal consolidation, the energy price, structural reforms, government reform, all of that. so, now, ukraine has to demonstrates its determination. so there are a few things they have to do and i am very pleased this morning they adopted in parliament a new procurement law. >> charlie: these are conditions. >> these are conditions before we move into the active phase when we actually disburse funds. so once they've satisfied all these conditions, we'll submit to the board of the imf, that includes everybody around the table, including russia and
everybody else, and we'll submit the program to give support to ukraine, anywhere between $14 billion and $18 billion over the course of two years, and we're not going to give a big check the day after. >> charlie: sure. it will be paid in installment as they progress along the lines of the program they have adopted. >> charlie: so the imf will help design reforms necessary in order to make this commitment on the part of the imf. >> yes. >> charlie: when you look at that region, when you went there, what did you find? when your people went to the ground, what did they report back? >> well, when they went, the country was in a situation of very serious crisis. >> charlie: right. the currency was going downhill fast. the reserves were being exhausted quickly, and measurers
had to be taken right away, like let the exchange rate float, allow the adjustment. the the fact that we were on the ground and moving along, having a good dialogue, actually, i think gave a good signal to the investors and to the markets, and the situation has stabilized at a much lower level in terms of currency, but the reserves are also stabilized and we have managed to stabilize the outflow of capital that was happening at the time because of the very erratic and instable situation. >> charlie: speaking of the outflow of capital -- >> yeah. >> charlie: -- do you see, in russia, much talk about sanctions and outflow of capital that affects their expected gdp growth? >> yeah, we are seeing an outflow of capital, probably a bit lower than what was mentioned in the press a couple of weeks ago, probably closer to
$60 billion and $70 billion in the last three months, but it is a very significant amount and almost as much as in the whole of last year. so it's a signal that capital left the country. there is capital coming back a little bit, now, and that is probably driven by political calls or expectations from, you know, russian-owned entities. but, you know, there have been changes affecting the russian economy, and it is reflected in the position taken by the central bank of russia, it is reflected by the revision that they themselves have volunteered concerning the forecast for growth for that country and the capital outflow is another indication. so i think it's certainly an economic situation that the authorities should look very carefully at.
>> charlie: speaking of newspapers and headlines, the headline today is about greece and its bond offering. would you ever have imagined that two years ago? >> probably not that soon, not that oversubscribed and not -- >> charlie: oversubscribed? oh, yes, it was definitely oversubscribed. >> charlie: at an interest rate people didn't necessarily think would be possible. >> i think the authorities themselves were hoping for something that eventually turned out much better in real life today. so it's -- i see it as a -- you know, as an encouragement, a sign that the investors are looking at the country with a different assessment of the risk and with the hope that the country will continue to deliver on what it has to do. the job is not completed. greece still has a lot to do, and there are structural reforms that are not yet completed, but it's certainly heading in the right direction, and the markets are saying so. >> charlie: finally, there's
this -- how long have you been managing director of the imf? >> july 4th, it will be three years. >> charlie: and before that you were in the private sector and finance minister and had these wonderful jobs and one of the most prominent people in the world. when you look around, there's much speculation about what you might do. >> i think they're all wrong. (laughter) >> charlie: thank you for joining us. managing director, christine lagarde. (applause) thank you very much. a pleasure to have you here. >> charlie: there are many, many world war ii stories, one of them belongs to eric lomax. he was a british soldier who was tortured by the japanese. he was forced to work on the thai bremer railway known as the death railway. a japanese interpreter made
lomax's life miserable. more than 50 years later he returned to thailand to meet the man. he wrote "the railway man," a story of war, brutality and forgiveness, turned into a movie starring jeremy irvine and colin firth. hire's the trailer for the film. >> i have a small problem which i suspect is interesting. i've fallen in love. >> he's a wonderful man. i've seen it. but he's a mess. >> you couldn't possibly imagine what he's been through. >> i want to know what happened to eric. >> war leaves a mark. this is the b.b.c. forces have surrendered to the japanese. >> when we surrendered, we would die of shame.
>> you're here to help us! the railway... you will have a good war. but we said, no. we'll live to fight you. we'll live for revenge. he's alive. i know where he is. he won't have a clue you're coming. >> i'm afraid the museum is closed. >> i'm surprised you don't recognize me. >> i am asking the questions, you answer! >> what did they do to you? a lot of men went through things you can't imagine. you have to let us cope with it.
>> i love him and i want him back. >> will you stand by him, whatever he does? >> i have to try. suffered much but i know you have suffered, too, and you mean everything to me. some time, the hating has to stop. >> joining me is jonathan teplitzky, the director jeremy irvine who plays lomax, colin firth who plays the older lomax and pat pat, the wife of eric lomax, who is also the center of the story. i am pleased to have them at this table. welcome. >> thank you. >> charlie: this is a love story. >> it is. >> charlie: it really is. tell us about the meeting when you first met eric lomax.
>> ah, well -- excuse me. it was a coincidence. >> charlie: yes. because eric was actually hoping to catch another train which he missed. >> charlie: what year? 1918. >> charlie: okay. and he caught my train, and we met. i was on holiday traveling from the south of england to scotland to visit friends, and eric was very interesting, telling me about the history of all the various towns as we went through, and he had the most marvelous eyes. very cocky man, but he obviously didn't take very good care of himself, but he was a most interesting person. >> charlie: and you got together and -- >> no. we met, as in the film,
eventually, with a few tweaks here and there, and then we parted for some time. then i rejoined him about a year later. >> charlie: very good. and he was suffering a lot from posttraumatic stress disorder. >> yes, he was. >> charlie: because of the experience he had had. >> mm-hmm. >> charlie: does this film, for you, is it tough to watch? >> very because, particularly, colin firth is so good in his part at playing eric that, occasionally, i forget who i'm watching. >> charlie: do you really? yes. and it brings me up with a bit of a jolt, i have to say. but, no, i think it's an excellent film. it's a drama, obviously, which is very often different from a book, and i have been amazed at how well the essence of eric's story and the truth has been kept. >> charlie: how did you come
to this? >> well, i knew of the project for many years. it was actually developed for about 14 years. i've been on it maybe three or four. i knew the people involved, and when, for all sorts of reasons, the original director couldn't do it, i was asked to step in, and i started reading about -- you know, i read the script and the story of eric, and it was just -- it struck me just immediately as sort of almost a portrait of a man in a very succinct story that reminded us of what we were capable of as human beings, the very best and worst, and just that as a starting point, you know, fantastic material. you know, i thought the rec selliation and forgiveness and almost an antidote to revenge were not only very important but dramatic ideas to explore in a film. >> charlie: he was a man who
set after revenge. >> i think if you're going to try to address something as difficult as reconciliation, forgiveness, moving beyond hatred, you have to be very, very careful that you're not just going to be facile and, you know, offering easy br bromidesr life. of course, we all think forgiveness is a good thing, bet if hollywood dreams up an optimistic notion that, despite all the pain, you, too, can achieve peace, it would be almost offensive, i think. to have heard it from somebody who went through every step and who had to confront a great deal in himself, then it has authority, and i think that's the only thing that really authenticates this whole story,
really, is that it's true and he did it at great cost. >> charlie: what was it necessary for you to capture in terms of the young eric lomax, prisoner to have the japanese working on the railroad? >> this is a process of clutching at straus, more or less. there's no way i would be able to relate properly to what eric must have gone through. for my generation, it's virtually impossible. so doing things that maybe i wouldn't normally have done, losing a lot of weight, and going through the torture scenes, especially. there's a sequence from the show, just a glimpse of the waterboarding eric went through and, you know, it wasn't -- it wasn't a hard decision to make we were going to do that for real as much as possible. if not, i was so terrifying it being insulting to patti and eric, as i got to know them. so to do it justice was always
going to be so difficult. so we wanted to get little glimpses into what it must have been like. there's one shot in the movie where the process had gone just a little bit too long and i think you see just that glimpse of reality, and i think that moment is so important. >> i think it's really important that you honor the place that eric got to, and to do that, if it feels like -- it was very important to find that balance of what he'd actually gone through so that the film is very contextualized but it has to make the audience understand this man really went through something, and then to find a place back to, in a sense, his humanity. >> charlie: and you knew he had posttraumatic stress disorder because of the dreams and the nightmares he had. >> it shows what happened when posttraumatic stress isn't faced, it never goes away, and it affects the whole family.
>> charlie: what happened to him? i mean, did the idea of seeing this, when you first realized this tormenter was alive, he was intent to go and kill him? why didn't he? because you realized he was another human being? is it that simple? >> i don't have an easy answer. i think we're covering half a century of suffering here, you know, between -- pretty well half a century between his captivity and that encounter. i think the film has obviously had to take some short cuts because it's 90 minutes, not half a century. so, you know, any answers i give on behalf of the character in the film are probably going to be incredibly simplistic compared to what patti would say
about eric. because you were part of it, weren't you, patti? there was a correspondence in real life. >> yes, but at the same time, i wouldn't like to answer. i think only eric could give a true answer. >> charlie: go to that point how he found out his tormenter was still alive. >> first of all, we were traveling on a train. >> charlie: yes. and he had been given an envelope by a friend, a contemporary of his, very recently, and eric took it out of his case and there was a cutting from the english language times reviewing a book written by mr. nagasi called crosses and tigers and there was a photo and eric recognized him immediately. >> charlie: as who tortured him. >> yes. this was amazing. you wouldn't believe it in a
movie. eric finds this book and it was sent to him not because anyone thought it might have been his tormenter but because this man is a translator who might be able to help him have information, and he turns to page whatever -- >> 17, i think. -- there you go, page 17, and there is a description of one particular prisoner who had stuck in this man's mind, hauntenagase. eric saw himself in print being written by the man he was haunted by all these years. >> charlie: take a look at this clip. here it is. >> he survived and is living. bloody river kwai.
look him up. he won't have a clue you're coming. >> the years i spent imagining making him beg, making him scream. i'd nurse myself to sleep on that. >> revenge is very potent. >> charlie: a primary emotion. yeah, exactly. and what's remarkable about this story is, you know, you ask the question what was it that made eric not kill him. >> charlie: right. you know, i think colin's right. it almost, you know, seems superficial to try and put a lid on that box, but i think it's a process, you know, and the complexity of those sort of emotions are such that, you
know -- i said to patti many times, it feels to me, doing this and getting to know them, it was almost as if eric and nagase were born to have this exchange, in a sense to remind us what human beings are capable of in this world where revenge is so often an outcome. >> charlie: this may be too simple, but sometimes people, i think, come to that conclusion, having been driven by the pain and desperate for revenge and some have a greater wisdom to realize that if i do this i will be no different than him. >> i'm con dumbing myself at the same time. >> charlie: yes. you know, from my point of view, having just focused on the first half of the story and not having to confront what eric does, i find it remarkable eric didn't go through it. >> charlie: what he went
through -- >> well, i think it's very easy to look at it and go, of course, it was a long time later. and i think that's what makes this story so fascinating is you got the very, very best and worst of human nature. attend, we see the very best of it. >> absolutely, and i do wonder if the accumulation of the pain, if it hadn't have lasted so long, if he hadn't spent so long consumed by the rage and the bitterness, and then met patti and experienced love. i'm not being flurid about this, but the juxtaposition about this, and then later in life, it maybe could have only happened then. it maybe couldn't have happened five years after the war. maybe all of these things taught him something about where he got to. >> charlie: you both had a
chance to meet him. how was that? >> it was an honor. i feel like, in this industry, you know, it's a huge privilege to get to meet some of your heros and people you call extraordinary and here are two people who really are extraordinary in every sense. i was very nervous. >> i was rather afraid of meeting eric. >> charlie: because? well, partly i think jeremy's touched on the context in which our experience is much beyond our comprehension, a life that's much longer than mine or even jeremy's -- (laughter) there's a certain aura. the producer wanted us to meet eric much earlier on when i still hadn't quite committed to the film and i was afraid to do it then because i knew meeting him would make it personal.
all the dispassionate things you're trying to take into consideration. and then it's a great gift when you're playing a role, particularly when the two of you are trying to synchronize and get into the mind and experiences of something like this, and you get it from the horse's mouth and you get to have his and patti's trust in us. at the same time, my goodness, the pressure when that happens as well. >> charlie: yeah. you know, because you're being entrusted with something so precious. what eric went through in order to get this story out, what he went through in order to reach the conclusion of that book is immense and it's very precious. it's not just precious because of what he and patti achieved, it's also the fact he's representing an awful lot of men who have been silent on the subject. a whole generation of people who
eve gutted it out. so he's the voice for them. and to have it handed over to our interpretation and say you've got to do it in a 9 0e minute form with your limited understanding and limited set of tools as an actor, it's in your hands to be true to it, to have the courage to delve into it and be as rigorous as you can. so it comes as a mixed blessing. >> i think you and i met eric almost the same day the first trip we went up there, and the thing that struck me the most because i read quite a bit and knew -- his eyes were incredible. they were just full of life, and there was a twinkle there that, you know, you sort of don't expect from someone who's lived through this that they've actually, in a sense, rediscovered life and had a great -- i think a great -- not
at peace with it, but had moved on with the fears of life and in a sense discovered something fundamental about what it is to be alive. >> the child in him was still alive. >> yeah. because, you know, he had these extraordinary memorable blue eyes, which nagase mentions in his book and patti mentioned meeting him on the train and, you know, i get it. and those eyes could be like a twinkly child, they could be mischievous or so tough. if there was something he didn't want to talk about or there was something, if he went into a dark place, they were like laser beams. they were striking. >> he focused very directly when you were talking and you feel like you're in a spotlight.
as jeremy said, you know, it was an honor to be, in a sense, meet someone like that on such simple, human terms. you know, for patti and eric to share their story with us, so magnanimously and openly, you know, the film started as an adaptation of his book but in many ways became as much about the relationship and discussions that we had that then gave us an insight into what they were feeling at different times and the things going on in their head and some of the things eric said, even quite simple things, sort of, in a sense, gave it authenticity. >> charlie: congratulations to all of you. now, can i just go back to the romance one moment? >> yes, sir. >> charlie: was it love at first sight in the train for you, even though you both had other relationships? >> no, it wasn't. it was like all our life, including the forgiveness of
mr. nagase, it took time. it was a gradual thing. we became good friends and it developed from there, and then we really were in love. >> charlie: thank you for coming. "the railway man" opens in new york and lamb l.a. on friday, april 11th, and then expands nationwide through april. thank you for joining us. see you next time. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
this is "nightly business report," with tyler mathisen and susie gharib. the bulls get trampled, the dow drops more than 250 points the nasdaq has its worst day since november 2011, the reason? nobody can explain it. here come the banks, j.p. morgan and wells fargo report earnings tomorrow and what they say could determine how the selling continues. game changer, now that the curtain is being pulled back on how doctors are being reimbursed on medicare, are more changes ahead? all that and more on "nightly business report" on thursday, april 10th. good evening, everyone, a nasty and dramatic selloff on wall street today with