It's Visceral: "The Help" Film Poster

Sunday, July 10, 2011

When I was at the movies over the weekend, for some reason I saw this gigantic poster for a film called "The Help" and automatically - without knowing anything about it - just thought the following (and yes, I know it's judgmental, but hey - I'm a dictator - that's what dictators do):

I'm betting this film has something to do about race relations back in the day between African American women and the White women they worked for and I wondered why the Women Of Color seem to be taking up less space on the movie poster than the Women Who Aren't Of Color -- especially assuming that in some way the film is supposed to be a lesson about race and power (because change starts with a whisper).

In Case You Were Wondering I Did In Fact Check This Film Out (Sort Of ...)

Film Synopis

Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) is a middle-aged African-American maid who has spent her life raising white children and has recently lost her only son; Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) is an African-American maid who has often talked back to her employers, leading to being fired multiple times and causing her to have difficulty finding work; Eugenia "Skeeter" Phelan (Emma Stone) is a young white woman who has recently moved back home after graduating from the University of Mississippi to find that her beloved childhood maid has mysteriously disappeared. These three stories intertwine to explain how life in Jackson, Mississippi revolves around "the help"; yet despite the intimate quarters in which whites and blacks live, there is always a certain distance between them because of racial lines.
Book Synopsis

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women--mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends--view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.
All of which still leads me to ask the same question that I did in the first place.