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So. Sure there was A LOT of Hollywood type stuff in "The Butler." And sure, there were parts made more facile than what was. And sure, one could poop and poke and pick at this movie.

But for me, not much interested in doing that. I found it a bit of a time machine, taking me back to much I have seen pass in my life time, regarding civil rights. And oh Lord, that's been a long, troubled and violent path, one easy to forget sometimes, and one this movie refreshes your memory about.

For those who have seen this movie, and those of a certain age, do you not remember that antiquated, softened square of a TV tube this movie presents so well as the only thing we had to report? I do.

And, I do remember the fight for black civil rights which extended through my childhood, and my coming of age, and well, most of my life, and still battles today, no matter how much the SCOTUS thinks it's no matter mind these days. As the mother of a gay son, I can only say that I am thankful that his battle for civil rights has not been as long or painful, or protracted once it got rolling, in HIS lifetime. Before that, of course, it was a nightmare to many.

Still I think, if I had ever had to watch my son subjected to the things many a black mother and father watched their own subjected to, I might just have curled up and died. I just can't say how much this lily white gal respects the fight and pain of her fellow black citizens, even if she never lived it and says so with all due humility.

And the incredible ability to keep on keepin' on. That's what's present every minute of this film, and it was so humbling to me. Oh my God, the things we white folks will never know, and I salute this movie for trying to give us just a taste of it in just two hours. Not the first film to do so, but there can NEVER be enough films to answer to this part of our failure as a country, until we're not failing there anymore.

You know, Jewish folks say, "never again." And I hope this movie says that to many in its own way---white, black, hispanic, asian and every darn color of the rainbow and every color or religion, NEVER AGAIN.

And I cheer the power of movies in this way, every one of them that tries, in just two hours, to make its message clear. This is just one more movie, ardently shepherded throughout its process, with all the parameters of time and money to tell its story. If you're a movie buff like I am, you understand the incredible goal some movie makers take on.

(And as an aside, this movie has one long hullabaloo of top names, every one of them imo, surprising in their roles.  But after all is said and done, imo, Forest Whitaker and Oprah take the top prize. Yes, imo, Oprah is freaking amazing in this film. And Forest Whitaker,---well, he took my breath away.)

I know that I will die before this is all settled out, but still, I do celebrate every movie and every director, producer, actor and all the rest, who tried to remind us in our own life times, what happened...at the movies.      

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Comment Preferences

  •  I haven't seen the movie yet... (8+ / 0-)

    ....but I plan to.

    I'm in the same group as you, a white gal who will never fully know and feel what those of different races had to face. That racism still exists and thrives in some hard-hardened or ignorant people is truly sad.

    I'm hopeful the next generation will be able to move forward with greater equality.

    •  Can't help but wonder at your handle... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, bumbi, Sylv

      as Lake Wobegon is well known to those of us in my corner of the world. Perhaps it is a coninky-dinky but I wonder if you and I will tuck ourselves into bed tonight, not too far from each other.

      In any case, I'm with you. I put my faith in my son's generation to carry on and do better. But just in case, I'm still hanging in there trying to speak up for the best for my generation too. It's going to take all of us.

      Every generation has its challenges. Some we meet, some we don't. But I hope we all keep on keepin' on, in the right fight. We have so many to inspire us to do so in this country, we are rich in that.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Sun Sep 15, 2013 at 09:36:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have a friend who was a Freedom Rider (8+ / 0-)

    He remarked to me a couple years ago that Civil Rights may be the last time we have a social movement in this country that could united so many men and women, across race, geographic,  and economic lines, in civil disobedience. What issue today could get young Americans all over the country willing to deliberately expose themselves to danger, to not only go to jail, but be thrilled to go to jail in the name of breaking evil laws and make them unenforceable.

  •  Couldn't stop crying (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother Mags, bumbi, StellaRay, Sylv, MRA NY

    So many scabs ripped off.

    Yes, a lot of Hollywood stuff, and things I knew weren't exactly correct. But there was so much that was so painfully accurate. Moments I couldn't forget, that will never, ever heal.

    And it wasn't just me. There wasn't a dry eye in the house at several points.

    All this at the same time I knew that was Oprah up there, and yet--- it was real.

    I must be dreaming...

    by murphy on Sun Sep 15, 2013 at 11:41:54 PM PDT

  •  I remember 4th grade... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StellaRay, Aspe4, Sylv, Josiah Bartlett

    In my very affluent white suburb my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Cunningham taught us black history, our school play was famous black Americans, I played Phillis Wheatley!  Anyway, I was in fourth grade, loved school, and loved Mrs. Cunningham.  I mean what did I know?  

    But it turned out my mother said it was one of the worst years of her life; my father was scathing about Mrs. C, teased me mercilessly when I would talk about Mathew Henson being the first man on the North Pole, etc. and on and on.  She says there were many days when he would tease me to tears...a real snarky sarcastic bully it seems.  Again, what did I know?  I was a kid, loved my daddy, and was very earnest.  Even then, I felt the need to debate lol. The year was 1968.  

    So I too am a lily white middle aged lady, and I don't know what it's like to be black in this country, but I carry my own very very small memories of the struggle for Civil Rights.  

    Daddy died before President Obama was elected, but he was a damn good liberal in the end, and definitely would have voted for him.  But man, back in the day he was a pill.  And the day after Obama was elected, I thought of my dad and my fourth grade year.

  •  I can't wait to see it now. Thank you, StellaRay. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bumbi, CorinaR, StellaRay, Aspe4, Sylv, MRA NY

    I rarely go to see movies anymore. $20 (because I have to have a big popcorn and diet coke - I have to) is more than I want to spend when I can watch all the Netflix movies I want for $8 per MONTH.

    That said, as cheap as I can me, I am going see this movie at a theater this week after reading this diary and comments. Ironically, the last movie I saw at a theater was, "The Help.'

    "In this world, hate has never yet dispelled hate. Only love can dispel hate." ~ Buddha

    by Leslie Salzillo on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 01:20:10 AM PDT

    •  It will be worth it. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aspe4, Sylv, MRA NY

      And btw, I always have to have a big popcorn and diet coke too.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 06:09:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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