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Showing posts from May, 2009

Hacking Agag to Pieces

Before the month is over, I wanted to draw your attention to one of the most supercharged scenes from our film of the month, A Raisin in the Sun. In just over 90 seconds, some big issues are placed side by side in a battle of wills - God's vs. Man's. Beneatha (Sanaa Lathan) claims that there is no God. She believes that God is simply "a matter of ideas" and proudly asserts that she is sick and tired of God getting credit for all the glorious achievements of mankind. Her mother (Phylicia Rashad) puts an abrupt end to her line of thinking:



There were a lot of things that went through my mind when I first saw this scene in the movie. But one thing I am not accustomed to is seeing a grown woman being slapped in the face by her mother. At first, watching Mrs. Younger shake her daughter and insist that she repeat the words: "In my mother's house, there is still God!" may seem like a bit much. This is not a ten-year-old child. This is a grown woman who is app…

They're Not Really People At All

One of the most important exchanges of dialogue in our April Film of the Month, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, occurs when Bruno's father tries to help Bruno understand why he needs to stay away from the Jews in the concentration camp, which Bruno, in his childhood innocence, thinks is a farm. In an attempt to help the boy understand why these people are shackled and living in a cage, Bruno's father explains, "The thing is Bruno, those people - well you see . . . they're not really people at all."

So many of us have looked at photos of the Holocaust and asked, "How could one human being do something like this to another?" The answer lies in Bruno's father's reasoning - they're not really people at all. Present within this statement is the admission that human life is sacred. In other words, if we were talking about humans, such acts would be unmistakably heinous, horrible, and downright evil atrocities. But if we are not talking about huma…

See 'Em with Your Heart

There are times when TV and theatrical productions can illustrate great truths about sin better than words alone could explain. Take a look at the following clip from the 1977 made-for-TV miniseries, Roots, which features two separate scenes that convey the same message: we cannot judge people by the way they look:



In the first segment, Bud's father Tom has been whipped by the KKK after bringing evidence of their guilt to the Sheriff. Bud tells Martha "I'm going to kill those white men someday," and she tells him, "Hate 'em for what they done, but not because they's white." (And in case you're wondering, that is indeed a very young and adorable Todd Bridges playing the role of Bud.)

In the second segment, we see Chicken George reunited with his wife Matilda after a long separation. As they settle in for the night, Tilda says to her husband, "Good thing you come home after dark, George, cuz I's so old and ugly I might scare you to death.&q…

A Raisin in the Sun

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

--Langston Hughes

Our film of the month takes its name from a line in the preceding poem. A Raisin in the Sun is Lorraine Hansberry's classic play about a family struggling to find their dreams and identity in 1950's America.

STATS
Year: 2008 (Not Rated)
Directed by Kenny Leon, based on the play by Lorraine Hansberry.
Starring Phylicia Rashad, Sean Combs, Audra McDonald, Sanaa Lathan, and John Stamos.
Setting: Chicago, 1950's.

Content warning: There is the mild profanity during a scene when Walter (Sean Combs) is drunk. We also see one scene where Beneatha (Sanaa Lathan) takes the Lord's name in vain repeatedly, however she receives a strong rebuke by her mother (Phylicia Rashad). This film has a happy ending.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR
1. Respect for…