Movies for February and “The Help” Vs “The Long Walk Home”

 I felt like posting something for Black History Month. Since I’m not a history expert, I’m not black and I avoid politics at all cost, I’m going to list movies I like with African American cast members.

Amistad (1997) I watched this movie in my high school world history class and enjoyed it. There are some minor historical inacuracies but I still think it’s a solid film.

Eve’s Bayou (1997) Ever since I saw this movie in a Psych of Women in Film class I loved it and wondered why I had never heard of it before. It’s well acted, even the little kid was a great actress and I love a good movie with a subtle supernatural vibe.

The Color Purple (1985) I used to avoid this movie like the plague because I grew up with an abusive father and can’t really handle domestic violence in books or movies. I’m glad I finally gave it a chance though. One minor thing that made me like it so much was the ex husband played by Danny Glover actually doing something kind for his exwife. It showed he had some redeeming qualities and it humanized him a bit. I don’t like characters who are just abusive without any other traits because it makes them seem more like a plot device than a person. Also Whoopi Goldberg is awesome.

The Long Walk Home (1990) When I was reading and watching The Help, this is the movie I kept thinking of, because I think it’s a better movie. The Help revolved around a white woman trying to get a job by writing a book about black maids. The acting was good, my problem was just with the plot. An upper middle class white woman writes down stories about working class black women, gets published and moves to New York. And everyone in the small town has read the book, and the black women have to keep working in that town and nothing really changes for them. It was just an incredibly unsatisfying story. The Long Walk Home was also about maids but revolved around The Bus Boycott which was an actual historical event. One of the things that made me like it so much more than The Help was Sissy Spacek’s character started giving her maid a ride and actually risked something by joining the protest and doing what was right, not caving into the pressure of her neighbors and husband. She had nothing to gain personally by doing it but she did it anyway.

And once again, Whoopi Goldberg is awesome.


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