The Help (2011)
Director: Tate Taylor
Writers: Tate Taylor (screenplay), Kathryn Stockett (novel)
Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African American maids’ point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
The Help almost manages to present one of the uncomfortable moments from the history books: how African-American maids in the South were treated by their employers during 60s. I say almost because, in the end, the story is more about a young white woman writing a best-seller about all this than it is about how outrageous the whole thing was. Nothing changes really in Jackson, Mississippi.
Regardless, this is a good movie. The actors play their parts well. The story and the characters are portrayed in a way that makes you empathize with the pain they have to carry around, but at the same time it does not want to go over the top. It is just enough to make you aware of how awful we sometimes are at being human, how bad we are at being a society.
There’s this murkiness about the main theme. Racism is bad, but, hey, not all white people are racists, which in the end works as some sort of ruined apology.