Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Movie/Book Review

First - the blog has been super quiet the past week (or so) because my house has been rather extra loud.

Full to the brim with hollering children.

My Love is being tackled by our 4 kids (7 1/2, 5 1/2, 3 1/2, and 2) and 2 nieces (3 1/2, and 2)...3rd niece is only 1 month, so she's not in on the wrestling just yet!

I had the treat of bringing my sister-in-law and her 3 daughters to our home for 10 days.

We played and snuggled and wrestled and mediated about half-a-million skirmishes.

We had 7 children - 7 and under - and plenty of crazy.

Good times were had by all. :)

On to my movie and book review....

I am a white woman who grew up in the American South.
A place I love.
A beautiful place, brimming with delicious food, gorgeous landscapes, and wonderful people.
People full of stories.

The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, sought to tell some of those stories.
Stories of people in 1960's Jackson, Mississippi.
Black people.
White people.
I was struck by how recent these fictional lives were lived.
Separate but equal.
Those things have always seemed like long ago issues - things from history books, not as recent as yesterday. This book helped me register - for the first time ever - how close the social disparities in the South were.

The characters were beautifully created with depth, struggles, and imperfections. One of my favorite things about the book - aside from excellent writing - was that each of the characters had aspects of who I am, or who I've been.  It was a story full of ordinary people given choices every day to choose right or wrong.  Ordinary people -people who chose kindness; people who chose evil; people who knew they were choosing wrong, but lacked the courage to choose right - people just like me.

The movie was the best adaptation of a book I have ever seen. They changed some things to allow the story to flow smoothly in a different medium - but they were carefully chosen and enhanced the story. There were not wasted moments. The casting was superb. The script was flawless.  I have never been pleased with a movie based on a book I love - but this was truly excellent.

The Help challenged me to inspect my own life.
What accepted atrocities am I party to? 
Am I in a boat that needs rocking?  

The point of the book was this:
We are just two people. Not that much separates us. Not nearly as much as I thought. 
Maybe I ain't too old to start over...I laugh and cry...Cause just last night I thought I was finished with everthing new.

The book and the movie are completely worth your time - it will grip your heart, and hopefully inspire you to not accept the status quo.

~Whitney Copyright 2013

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