Tag: bigotry

Green Book

January 19th, 2019 — 5:39am


Green Book-rm

This is a fresh original look at the unbridled racial prejudice that was still present in the South in the early 1960s. It is directed by Peter Farrelly, who co-wrote the movie with Nick Vallelonga and Brian Currie. It is based on the true experience of a well-known black musician known as Dr. Don Shirley (who is played by Mahershala Ali). Shirley is invited to go on tour in the South and play in various theaters and at the homes of wealthy people although he could make more money performing in the NY area. He agrees to take this tour knowing well and perhaps because of an event that happened in the mid-1950s when famed black singer Nat King Cole was racially attacked on stage during one of his tours in the South. Shirley is about to take his tour into the South with his trio and he engages a tough guy known as Leo the Lip, (played by Viggo Mortensen), a guy, with an Italian background who was on a hiatus from his job, as a bouncer at the famed New York Copacabana Nightclub to be his driver.

What emerges is a magnificent character study of both men as they go on this journey into the segregated South that clearly existed in the United States in the mid-20th century. Through their eyes and their feelings, the movie viewer gets an insight into the prejudicial society that they were encountering. While the performance of Ali as a skilled pianist was excellent, it was Mortensen’s performance and his ability to show the subtle insights that his character developed, that made this an outstanding film

Although it is no longer necessary to have a “Green Book” to find a hotel that will accept people of color, we know that prejudice towards people who are different still exists. Therefore, it is a movie such as this one that is always helpful in making us takes take stock of our own values and the bigotry around us. (2019)

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Comment » | 5 Stars, Drama, History

The Secret Life of Bees

January 16th, 2010 — 2:27am

The Secret Life of Bees* * * * *
The Secret Life of Bees
– nf – One of us read the book and the other didn’t but we both were transfixed by the by this view of the racial tensions in the south in the 1960s. The movie follows the journey 14-year-old Lilly (Dakota Fanning) as she escapes her abusive father and seeks to find out if the mother that she lost at age 4 through tragic circumstances that involved her own hand, had loved her or totally rejected her. She is joined in her quest by her black friend and caregiver Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson). They are drawn to the home of August Boatwright (Queen Latifah) and her two sisters (Alicia Keys and Sophie Okonedo) which turns our to have a special connection for her. Boatwright is the wise sage of the story who also understands bees and is the maker of honey (the real bee stuff and the sweetness of this character). Despite the recent civil rights act, the hatred and bigotry and its toll are illustrated in this film in very human terms. The best selling novel by Sue Monk Kidd and the screenplay by Gina Prince-Blythwood provided ample opportunity for full expressions of feelings and powerful interactions between the characters under the direction of Ms. Prince-Blythwood. Although there was only a hint of song in the film, Jennifer Hudson and Queen Latifah showed that they are perhaps just as talented as actors as they are singers. Alicia Keys known for her singing also did a great acting job. Sophie Okonedo was outstanding in a difficult role where she had played the disturbed sister who radiated warmth and love but struggled with an incurable emotional pain. Young Dakota Fanning was brilliant as the young girl searching for the truth and the interactions with Paul Bettany who played her father were electrifying. If you haven’t seen this film, it belongs on your Netflix list. (2008)

Comment » | 5 Stars, Drama

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