There is a film that I had recently seen and had much influence on me, not only the story that is presented in it, but also the way how it is shown. It is made to be unusual through that not only those parts of the main characters’ lives are shown that one would expect, but a much more personal picture is given through showing them cooking, doing housework and also presenting their thoughts during these activities. The film was created in 2011 and is entitled: The Help, written and directed by Tate Taylor.
The movie takes place in the world of Southern women, and it is set in Jacksonwille. The white women take their own insecurities, that comes as a result of the chauvinism of their husbands, out on their black maids. The movie shows how the black women cope with their white ladies’ behaviour towards them, and what they try to do to be treated in a more humanistic way. These black women are the ones who do all the housework, raise the children of the white women, for a very small amount of money, while they are not even considered to be human beings.
Although the story of the film has nothing new in itself as most people today are quite familiar with the historical background of the age, but the movie is made successful through character portraits by Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, playing maids who agree to tell their stories to a young white journalist – played by Emma Spencer – who wants to write a book out of these stories. What makes the film more interesting is that the everyday life, the personal background and experiences of the black ones is shown, not only their relationship with white people.
The humor and the light tone through which the very serious topic of inequality between black and white people is presented, makes the audience feel that the film does not force them, but it is just impossible to not feel sympathy for the black women.
By: Eszter Filep