Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Help

Mike and I snuck out to a late movie last night.  One of the new found freedoms of having kids old enough to babysit!  I wanted to see “The Help” but I didn’t think Mike would want to.  He agreed.  When we sat down in the theater surrounded by women, he muttered, “Oh great, I’m in a chick flick!”

But we both loved it.  The previews showed a lot of the funny parts so I thought it was going to be more of a comedy.   It’s actually a gripping tale of civil rights days in the south.  At the end of the movie, no one got up to leave.  We all just sat there as the credits rolled. 

I wish I would have read the book first, but I had never heard of it.  That happened to me with Eat, Pray, Love too.  I guess I don’t keep up on pop culture very well!

There were a few things themes I was intrigued by.  Mainly, courage.  The women in the movie show great courage in the face of hatred.   Throughout the movie, there are characters I wondered if might rise to the occasion.  The mom did.  She realized how wrong her actions had been and took a stand.

But there is another character that does not.  I hoped through the whole movie that she would.  She is obviously conflicted by what is going on.  But in the end she does not have the courage to stand up to her friend.

So I had to wonder, do I have the courage to stand up for what’s right?  Even when it’s dangerous or stupid?  Even if no one else will stand with me?  If it means losing money, or safety or social standing? 

I certainly hope that I would be one that would risk everything for what’s right.  But it’s easier said than done.  It doesn’t feel as heroic in real life as it looks on the movie screen.  I want my kids to have that kind of courage.  There are situations in my life right now where I need that kind of courage.  Maybe it never seems heroic at the time, just lonely.

The second thing that moved me was prejudice.  We may not deal with outright racial prejudice, but it really made me wonder if there are people out there that I look down on.  Or don’t treat as well because they are different.  Or dirty.  Or have bad jobs or run down houses.

Honestly, those attitudes come out of the same ugliness that racism does.  And I do not want to be part of anything like that.  Seeing the hurt and humanness of the maids in the movie made me think hard about where other people are at in life and how I treat them.  Do I go out of my way to reach out to people on the outskirts of society or do I surround myself with people like me?  What did Jesus do? 

And finally, it seems like racism was over and done with along with beehives in the sixties.  But I wonder if it is?  I honestly don’t know.  I am thrilled we have an African American President, but what about all the other minorities?  Do they feel like racism is a thing of the past? 

It’s definitely a movie worth paying the big bucks to see.  If you’ve seen it, what did you think?


Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the movie yet. I read the book and loved it. I knew you went to the movie because your babysitter called me while you were gone-just to chat. Abby was playing in her room and the little girls were having a pretend garage sale on the deck. Glad you liked the movie!


Peter and Nancy said...

I'm taking my mom to see it later this month for her birthday . . . and I'm breaking my own rule of not seeing a movie until I've read the book! Our city is growing more diverse -- although the adults are still more than 90% caucasian, you can see that the school system is growing more diverse. I have a friend who is Chinese-American who had told me stories about bad treatment she's received, and another mom at my church told me about some incidents at her daughter's high school. That broke my heart, and made me think about the fact that I will never really know what it's like for my brown-skinned daughter.