August 21st, 2011

red panda eating bamboo

More about the movie The Help

Follow-on to this post.

I still haven't seen the movie. So if you think only people who have seen it are allowed to have things to say about it, you might want to skip this post.

This is a good critique of the movie The Help and link roundup of other critiques. (The person who wrote this critique has seen the film and read the book):
http://afrolez.tumblr.com/post/9120766031/im-help-ed-out-and-yet-i-still-have-some-things-to

I'm particularly struck by this tweet by @MHarrisPerry, quoted in the above critique:
#TheHelpMovie reduces systematic, violent racism, sexism & labor exploitation to a cat fight that can be won w/ cunning spunk.
This type of story -- where an individual or a small group takes on a great big oppressive system and wins -- is typical of Hollywood movies (and probably plenty of non-Hollywood movies). As an American steeped in notions of individualism, I like this sort of story; it makes me feel good. But when this sort of story is misrepresented as or misunderstood to be the actual history of a complex situation or event, or when more accurate and complete historical treatments, including the viewpoints of people who were there, are not as easily available, that's a problem.

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