Friday, 16 January 2015
Sunday, 4 January 2015
Told through the point of view of three different women living in Jackson, Mississippi, The Help chronicles events from late summer of 1962 through 1964. Skeeter Phelan, who has just graduated from Ole Miss, returns home to the family plantation, ambitious to become a writer.
Taking the advice of a New York editor to hone her skills, Skeeter begins to write a column for the local newspaper while searching for a topic that she truly cares about.
Missing her beloved childhood family maid and confronted by the overt racism of her friend Hilly Holbrook’s campaign to require a separate bathroom for the black help, Skeeter proposes to write about the lives of the black maids in Jackson. Knowing she will need to interview black maids to tell their stories but without realizing the danger of what she is asking, Skeeter approaches Aibileen, the maid of one of her close friends.
With an increasing sense of bitterness at the injustice of her situation, Aibileen agrees to help, and later recruits Minny and eventually other maids. As they work on this project to tell their true stories, including stories of the prejudice and injustice that the maids experience in their everyday lives, a close relationship develops between Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny. The three women come to confront and resist the intimidation experienced daily by the black maids. Woven throughout the stories are the key events of these seminal years of the civil rights movement.
Before watching the film
For an overview of the Civil Right Movement and the conditions of black people living in America, students can visit the following pages:
Address the following topics to help students add to their background knowledge:
1. Where did most Afroamericans live?
2. What was the Second Great Migration that occurred between 1940-1970?
3. Why did coloured people move to the North in such numbers?
4. What kinds of work were typical for coloured people in the South? Why?
5. What were the Jim Crow laws?
6. How did this affect the daily lives of coloured people, especially in the South?
7. What violence or threat of violence affected them?
8. What was their response? How did they resist the violence of racism?
While watching the film
"The Help" - Criadas y Señoras (in Spanish) (2011) 146 mins.
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.
Director: Tate Taylor
Writers: Tate Taylor (screenplay),
Kathryn Stockett (novel)Stars: Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer
The Help received four Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Actress for Davis, Best Supporting Actress for Chastain, and a win for Best Supporting Actress for Spencer. On January 29, 2012, the film won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
See the Trailer