Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Hardtimes on Humanity

        Recently I just watched The Help starring Emma Stone and Viola Davis.  The film is set in the early 1960's and is about the hardships that African American maids had to endure while they discuss their point of view to a young aspiring writer.  The movie is based on a novel of the same name that was published in 2008.  Its a great movie and if anyone hasn't watched it yet, it's a definite must see.  Every so often a movie comes out that discusses a terrible time in our history, a time that reminds us that at one time our civilization wasn't so civilized.  It makes a person think why people treat others the way they used to all because they had a different skin color or acted differently.

         One of the most gruesome acts on humanity was seventy years ago during World War 2 and even a museum in Washington D.C. was erected because of its impact on the world.  The Holocaust is something that still impacts us today. This horrible act can be viewed with very graphic detail on the ninth episode of the award winning mini-series Band of Brothers, but the one movie to go to that really captures this black mark in history is Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List.  This film shows the horrors that many had to face in that time and what few did to prevent more from dying in such a horrible fashion.

          Why do we make movies that reminds us of the worst times in our past?  We make them because it not only shows us the worst of mankind but it also shows us the best of who we are.  In such dark times a hero rises to stop or at least fight against the evil that stands in our way.  Characters like Skeeter Phelan in The Help and Oskar Schindler are the light that many look for in their time of need.  A woman who shows kindness by giving her time to write a story of what maids go through on a daily bases and a man who takes all that he has in order to save people from destruction is the greatest gift anyone can give.

          Slavery, war, plagues, and times of depression are all examples of things that have been told in one way or another through film.  I gave only two examples of what is out there to rent or buy for your viewing pleasure and every so often we should be reminded of how bad things used to be.  Even though the economy is bad now and things aren't as great as you would like them to be; just remember that at one time things were even worse than they are today and hopefully things will keep getting better.  Only the future can tell where we will end up.

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