This past weekend, I watched The Help and thought it was a good movie. I felt really conflicted about this because of the complicated racial politics of the movie. There is a joke poster retitling the movie “White people solve racism,” and that is a valid criticism of the story. It is the white girl Skeeter who gains notoriety off the backs of the black characters.
There were also scenes that were painful to watch, because of the cruelty of the white characters toward the maids. I wondered, did I and the non-African American audiences somehow enjoy watching this? (1) Because it allowed us to feel like we are above racism, while ignoring our own smaller forms of racism or (2) because we secretly enjoyed seeing this cruelty?
As time goes by, my admiration of this movie grows, because it has forced me to confront those painful images and ask these questions.
The link is a great interview of Viola Spencer and Octavia Davis by Tavis Smiley where they explore these issues in depth. It’s a great watch, check it out.
This year was a great movie watching year for me! I saw 31 2011 movies. For that reason, I’m pretty excited about the Oscars, even though it wasn’t the strongest movie year.
1. Drive 2. Bridesmaids 3. Hugo 4. The Descendants 5. Cedar Rapids 6. The Muppets 7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 8. Super 8 9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 10. Midnight in Paris
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Hugo Warrior Jane Eyre The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Shame The Muppets The Descendants Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2 Midnight in Paris Super 8 Bridesmaids Win Win Cedar Rapids
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol A Dangerous Method The Debt Moneyball The Tree of Life Cave of Forgotten Dreams
That’s the lead that Rick Santorum holds over Mitt Romney in Washington State. You know who should be scared? Rob McKenna — I wouldn’t want Santorum on my ticket in Washington, especially at the same time that there is a marriage equality referendum on the ballot. Let’s show Rick and Rob their values don’t match up with those of Washingtonians!