MOVIE REVIEW – Last night Judy and I saw the movie “THE HELP”. We had a few personal memories of the time described in this movie, but it was from a completely different perspective. We remember when Medgar Evers and John Kennedy were assassinated. We remember the freedom riders and the marches. After the church bombing which killed 4 young girls, we walked with a large number of persons, mostly black, in Springfield, Ohio, because we felt we had to do that. We did not uinderstand the culture and feelings of white supremacy culture, especially in Mississippi. We just knew it was unreasonable, untenable, and unchristian, and we had to stand against this. This was also not necessarily the consensus within the Lutheran seminary I was attending. Our family’s only outlet for expressing our outrage was a quiet march in our then home town.
THE HELP has filled in many of the blanks for us. It is not a chick flick flick, although it does gives young men a few pointers on how not be a complete dolt. It is exquisitely plotted, based on the real thing, and suberbly acted. The historical reality for this group of Americans at that time is still not completely fathomed by us, as we never endured such conditions.
I actually grew up with household help present. The only one I really remember was Mrs. Glenn. I knew her only by that title. No one in the family in my hearing ever used any other term.She was in my life from grade school until I graduated. Years later, retired and at an advanced age, she voluntarily chose to drive 150 miles to attend my ordination into the Lutheran ministry (on February 13, 1966) in northern Indiana.. She and her daughter Wanda were, I think, Baptists, and my family had attended her church although I can not remember what events led us to do so. It was just to honor her.
This movie will draw you into that culture and the lives, emotions, and actions of both white and black participants. You may not want to accept their feelings and actions as realistic. As far as I can tell, they are not stereotypes. They really existed. This is your chance to enter into that world, and be entertained by a surberb film at the same time.