Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Help .

I've been on an Emma Stone kick ever since I watched Zombieland. It struck me that she is an unbelievably versatile actress -- between the different ways she can be in that movie, or the teenage girl in Easy A, or whatever else. Jordan and I came home from the game and made a Cook Out run, and decided we would go and watch a movie -- My roommate Greg was here, and we all decided we should watch The Help. Quite honestly, I didn't expect too much despite the fact it had had smashing reviews -- It simply didn't seem like my kind of movie. But, Emma Stone was in it and I'd liked everything else she'd done. So hey, why not.

Well, I ended up being pretty blown away. It was a bit of a risk, I imagine, to dig up some of the memories of the atrocities during slavery, when people had maids and treated them like dirt. But there are plenty of documentaries, books and whatever else on that -- this was something different. And don't worry, I'm not dismissing anything slavery-related so quickly like that for no reason; I have a point.

The movie really focused on the relationships that not only are between the maids, but more importantly, between the maids and the families that they work for. Kids were raised by these people, grew up loving them and being loved in return. Parents were but a distant figurehead of authority. It was something that hadn't really crossed my mind before. Because this sort of "work" was more than just cleaning and cooking. This was a job that required love, compassion, friendships, condolences, self-sacrifice, patience, encouragement and countless other things that are not easy to find all at once in one person. Is this not the sort of thing we would all strive to be as a parent?

Bottom line is -- the movie was really good and really makes you think. However, it's hard for me to watch -- I have no experience with that sort of thing. My roommate is black, and is one of the coolest people I know / have met -- and at one point how was aunt was involved in something similar (I think; I'm not positive, Greg, correct me on this one if you want).

I'm interested in stories like that. The stuff that comes from long ago. I love hearing my Dad talk about how his childhood was -- but it tears me up to think about he had to live life and and how relatively lavishly I live now. I have an apartment with my own big bed, A/C and heat, my own car, I'm going to a respectable school with a great architecture program, and my parents are helping me pay for all of it, often without any expectation of me repaying the cost. It's pretty unbelievable. But it makes you think.

Slavery never really hit home with me like it did in this movie. It was just another thing in a textbook. I didn't have any relatives that ever had any servants, maids, slaves, or any of that. I didn't grow up in the South, and don't really embrace too much of Southern culture. I know there are quite a few families and kids I know now whose grandparents had slaves. That wasn't even that long ago... It just kinda blows my mind.

I don't know what else to say. It can get to be a touchy subject I'd imagine, and believe me, I'm no expert at all -- just going by what I know, or perhaps more accurately what I think I know. So what are your thoughts? Have you seen The Help yet? What did you think? What things hit home for you from it?

Also, I'm going to change the music soon. Sorry it's been awhile. I'm also going to stop the automatic play feature -- I'm sure that gets annoying for some of you; so it'll just be up there if you want to play it.

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