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Out Of The Furnace (2013)
Last Days On Mars, The (2013)
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom (2013)
Black Nativity (2013)
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Delivery Man (2013)
Hunger Games, The: Catching Fire
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Wolf Of Wall Street, The (2013)
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Hobbit, the: The Desolation Of Smaug (2...
Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas (2013)
Saving Mr. Banks
American Hustle (2013)
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|What does it mean to grow up "less than human" as a slave? What does slavery do to the human soul? What happens to the mind? What about devastating memories that haunt us into a peace-less existence?
By David Bruce
|The film is based on the book by Toni Morrison, in which a slave is visited by the spirit of her deceased daughter.
Oprah Winfrey, Danny Glover, Irma P. Hall, Kimberly Elise, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Thandie Newton.
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia)
Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Toni Morrison.
|THIS REVIEW IS A SPOILER
YOU MAY WANT TO SEE THE FILM FIRST.
|The past has a life of its own.
||The story is based on a true incident. A renegade slave by the name of Margaret Garner attempted to kill her children because they were going to be taken and returned to the plantation from which she had escaped. Death seemed to be the better alternative to the evils of slavery. The ghost of the dead child, Beloved, is the invention of the author of the book, Toni Morrison. The ghost, Beloved, represents the lingering pain of a shattered life. A broken-ness so profound and irreversible that it haunts the whole life.
||Sethe sacrifices her child by shedding her blood. Freedom through death is a profound spiritual reality. Sethe instinctively knew this was the only act to protect her beloved child from the ravages of an evil world. It was a spontaneous act. A mother's mission of love captulized in a moment in time. You can almost hear a primordial scream emanate from Sethe's spirit: "Evil will not have my baby. She will be free."
||Sethe was publicly stripped, abused in a disgusting manner and unmercifully whipped by the so-called respectable people. Her slave owners seemed bent on proving through her public humiliation that their only mission in life was to maintain "superiority" through the intentional dehumanization of others. Afterwards, Sethe escapes to the underground railroad, blazing a new trail on her quest for freedom. Sethe is bleeding, pregnant and near death. She collapses. Discovered by a young white woman, Denver, she is nursed back to health in the woods along the river. Sethe gives birth to another baby and names her after the young woman of providence. After regaining her strength, she makes her way to Ohio; a free state. She is free. Or is she?
||Hard working Sethe earns her way up into the emerging middle class. Her new life, however is haunted by her past. This is visually and skillfully depicted in the film. Objects in Sethe's house move and rooms flash in red. The painful haunting of the past affects everything in Sethe's life; her daughter, Denver; her love relationship with lover Paul D; everything!
||The invisible haunting is only the beginning.
||Suddenly, the impossible happens. The ghost of Beloved becomes incarnate and rises from the bog. The filmmakers create a very mystical feel to the whole event. There is a mist that covers the ground. Butterflies, the symbols of metamorphosis, flutter about as Beloved rises to life. She rests against a tree where she is covered with ladybugs. Her snore (voice) is rough from the slit throat she suffered at the hands of her mother. She finally makes her way to her mother's home and introduces herself. Sethe reacts with a sudden and necessary trip to relieve herself. Her daughter has returned from the dead.
||The sense of the mystical continues through the whole film. There is another dimension beyond the physical and the film makers keep it alive in our minds through the use of muted colors, shadows, light, dreams, and even through enchanting nature scenes.
||Beloved continues her destructive work in Sethe's life. She seduces Sethe's lover, Paul D, and becomes pregnant with his child. Sethe's daughter, Denver, moves out. Sethe is left in utter isolation. Her life is reduced to the care and feeding of the ever-growing pregnant Beloved. In town, Denver mentions in passing Sethe's condition to some Christian women friends of Sethe. These caring women band together and armed with crosses and prayers go and visit Sethe. The visit is the very strength that Sethe needs to pull Beloved out of her bed in the darkened room. Throwing open the front door Sethe exposes the naked truth of her past to daylight and to the women. They immediately fall on the ground with loud cries for the deliverance of Sethe. Then suddenly the bondage is broken. Beloved is transformed into a host of butterflies. She is no more. Freedom has come in the form of hope for the future.
Beloved, © 1998 Touchstone Pictures. All rights reserved.
SLAVERY CONTINUES IN CHINA
EMBRACING "ENEMIES" WITH LOVE
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|THOUGHTS TO PONDER.
What does it mean to grow up "less than human" as a slave?
What does slavery do to the human soul?
What happens to the mind?
What about deviating memories that haunt victims into a peace-less existence?
on LIGHT and PAIN.
Most of us have painful memories that haunt us. Bad things have happened to us through the hands of others. We have made bad choices. Such incidents are painfully imprinted into our memory and soul. We can replay those memories and feel them all over again. It takes time to work through these things. But work through them we must. Or, they will ruin everything else in our life. Such memories can grow and dominate just as pregnant Beloved did in the film.
We can not win in isolation. We need to expose our problems to the light of day and gain the help of those who care.
This is the crisis we're in ...addicted to denial and illusion. John 3:19-21 Msg.
Some Brief Thoughts.
The difficulties in life are intended to make us better not bitter.
The best way out of difficulty is through it.
Despite all the pain and trouble, life is still better than the alternative.
A person's most fervent prayers are not said when on their knees, but when they are flat on their back.
Invite trouble and it will usually come.
Troubles are like babies -the more you nurse them, the larger they grow.
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