"Okay went to see the Help movie but don't get why whites would enjoy it. Its purely fictional and depicts white people as mean, hateful racist who turned over our child rearing to our black maids and were Hippocrites in that we raised money for African children but treated blacks like dirt. Author says she never knew anyone like the mean character Hilly. When do you think the movie about Reverend Wright's church and congregation is coming out? "

Courageous white women ended racism, deal with it.

im also wondering why they portrayed white people as greek philosophers and when the rev wright movies coming out
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maybe an attempt to legitimize and americanize the emirate domestic worker culture?
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discipline posted:
I read that the emirates almost single-handedly bankrolled this movie

What exactly would compel Imagenation Abu Dhabi to invest in a movie that advances the idea of WoC’s lack of agency? What would compel this government owned company to back up a film that perpetuates rancid notions about the social standing and lives of domestic workers, when this government itself has often been accused of not addressing the abuse that domestic workers in the Emirates face in the hands of the ruling classes? I can assure you, this was not a random decision. This is politically motivated (every investment made by the government of the Emirates IS politically motivated, even though we might not be able to pin point the exact reasons at first sight).

those guys bankroll all kinds of terrible movies, like that one about the plame affair. simply awful.

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From the excerpts I've read from the novel, the rendition of the dialect is pretty grossly inaccurate. The novel too just uses the civil rights struggle as a frame story for a barely concealed, temporally dislocated, "girl made good" autobiography.

The absence of black men except as off-screen roustabouts was specifically highlighted as inaccurate and misleading in the radio interview I listened to with one of the black female historians.

Slightly disturbing is the nearly universal affection this movie seems to have among middle class white women. One woman I know threw a southern food party after watching the film with her white colonial South American family.

Edited by amniotic ()

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Once a white author, writing for a white audience, starts to play that game, it's hard to see a way out of the massive cultural weight dragging the work towards minstrelry.
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discipline posted:
aahaha oh my gosh! yeah, it is the kind of movie that old white people would like because they see it as being about themselves imo

the applause...

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I distrust this type of movie instinctively; any movie about race relations in which the white lead isn't a villain gives me flashes of "The Blind Side." I haven't seen this and in fact I'm white, so if I'm misguided feel free to correct me. But although I wouldn't have a problem with a white person writing an expose on the exploitation of black "help," a book or movie actually containing the white character writing this makes me uncomfortable. Not that there weren't good white people opposed to racism then and now, but focusing on heroic salvific whites just seems intrinsically offensive, like an excuse to have all whites (the oppressor class) feel good about themselves for crimes their class in fact perpetrated.

Edited by ilmdge ()

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'The Help' Isn't Helping

SAN FRANCISCO - Last night, I went to see the movie “The Help” and walked out about an hour into it, not long after a fried chicken joke between a Black maid and her White boss.

I walked out of the movie half way through it because I've made a pact with myself that as soon as the fried chicken and the N-word start to get thrown around, I will remove myself from the situation.

As a young Black man, I tend to cringe when White people try and address the complexity of race relations and the plight of Black folks in America. They almost always get it wrong. I don't even think Hollywood should try.

“The Help” is a movie set in the 1960s South and it's about a young White reporter who gets some Black maids to talk to her about their lives working in the households of White families. I wasn't really sure what to expect—I didn't read the bestselling book and I try to stay away from movies where race is a theme. Any kind of movie where White people are “helping” Black folks succeed puts a thorn in my paw. It seems a little self-serving to me.

But I like Bryce Dallas Howard and the girl with the swoopy bangs in “Superbad,” Emma Stone, so I kept an open mind.

I saw the movie in downtown San Francisco, at the Westfield at 8:30 p.m. I see movies there fairly often and the crowds tend to be diverse, but when I took a look around in the dark theatre, I realized I was the only Black person in sight. I didn't expect it to be packed with Black folks like a Spike Lee movie, but still …

This is a movie about Black people for White people, I thought, and already began to get very offended.

It's been my experience in the city with some White folks that they think they understand more about Black people then they really do and it can get uncomfortable.

The script was scoff-worthy and I felt particularly uncomfortable every time the crowd laughed at anything the Black characters did, even if it was supposed to be comic relief. I wasn't sure if the crowd was laughing at or with them. At some points, I would even find the crowd laughing when there was no joke at all—just some homely-looking Black folks on screen.

The way the Black characters were portrayed was definitely a sore point for me. I hate the shuck and jive way the Black ladies spoke and I just get furious any time I see a Black woman in a maid outfit. It makes me think of my mother and sisters, who are all strong, successful Black women, and who would have had to be maids to endure those times.

And I must say I really didn't enjoy hearing Bryce Dallas Howard use the N-word. She's such a sweetheart and to hear it come out of her mouth with such force might have been intended as good acting, but I don't think she's that good.

I knew it was close to my time to leave as soon as one of the Black maids sat down to eat some fried chicken with one of the housewives she worked for proclaiming in some slave-type English “I never burn my fried chicken!” and the crowd erupted in laughter.

The scene that broke the camel's back for me was when one of the maids was arrested for stealing a ring from a house she worked at and is put in handcuffs and hit across the face with a Billy club by a portly, Southern-drawled policeman.

At that point, I had seen enough to know that even though there were fantastic Black actresses in the film, Black folks like me who cringe when they hear anyone say nigger or nervously laugh when White people do Black impressions or say “Fiddy” Cent instead of Fifty Cent, would not find it amusing.

I find that Hollywood is way too bone-headed and self-absorbed to tackle any subject as convoluted and complex as racism. Instead, The “Help” just throws every stereotype at you at once about Black people and White people. Whenever Black people have to “act like Black people” in movies, there seems to be a disconnect between the reality of the culture and the movie version of Black lives.

And it's not just White filmmakers that have this problem. It's the same issue I have with Tyler Perry movies: they are just stereotype after stereotype and I think they do more harm for the perception of Black people than good. Whenever one of my White friends talks about Tyler Perry movies and what they found funny in the movie, I realize a disconnect between me and them that is only there when race comes into play. It seems to me, sometimes White folks are laughing at us rather than with us.

From what I could tell, the impact of a film like “The Help” is that White folks get to go in a theater and feel all warm and fuzzy about a time that was horrid for Black people. I think it's way too simple to think all the help back then were scared Black women who lived under the oppression of racist self-absorbed desperate housewives, as the movie made them out to be.

It upsets me that people so freely travel back to those times and some even miss them. Trying to find nostalgia in those ugly days is dangerous and potentially harmful for the future. That was a time where people like me could not live in peace and I'm happy that we as a country have moved past it. I would hope most Whites have, too.

From what I could tell, the impact of a film like “The Help” is that White folks get to go in a theater and feel all warm and fuzzy about a time that was horrid for Black people.