We saw the movie, The Help, last Sunday. I laughed, I cried, and I cheered. It’s a great story to explain the “separate but equal” period of our history…a period that is shameful. But, I left the movie cheering the courage of those who paved the way for greater equality.
Children need to understand “separate but equal”
As I thought about the movie and the lessons it teaches, I knew I wanted my older grandchildren to see it. They have grown up in a culture in which the tragedy of “separate but equal” has been forgotten. Several months ago, I mentioned to a grandson that when I was a child, there were separate drinking fountains for “colored.” He was appalled. I thank God that we have reached a place in our nation when our response to this part of our history is shock.
Our children need to know how America acted during that time. Only as we learn about our past can we avoid repeating it in new circumstances.
How to handle the bad language in the movie
The movie has some bad language, but by middle school, our children have heard it all. I suggest approaching the questionable language as you would the words they hear on the school yard. You might have a conversation something like the following:
“We would like for our family to see the move, The Help, although it has some questionable content. I want to prepare you for what you will see and hear.
“You often hear people using bad words. They’re not just in this movie. Our responsibility in following God’s Word in such situations is twofold:
- “We must not use unacceptable language just because we hear it from others. Our words should always bring glory to God: ‘May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.’ Psalm 19:14
- “When we hear someone using bad words, we must not judge them. Remember, we are not the ones to judge people for what they do. “You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.’ Romans 14:10.
“Also, there are some other things in the movie like smoking, getting drunk, and using violence that you know are wrong. However, I want you to look at the lessons we can learn from the history of that time.”
You know your children better than I do, so you should be the one who decides at what age this movie is appropriate. Go to http://www.pluggedin.com/movies/intheaters/help.aspx‘ for a comprehensive review.