An honest dialogue about love, life, and everything in-between...

Among other things...

This evening I went out to see the Tyler Perry adaptation of the Ntozake Shange play/book For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. I left the movie with a lot of thoughts. Not so much about the film but about us as a people and black movies in general.

First, I must say that I enjoyed the movie. I had read the book and was curious to how Tyler Perry was going to pull this off. (If any of you have seen the play or read the book I'm sure you were probably wondering the same thing). Though Perry deals with some dark topics in his movies, I didn't know if he could be true to the pictures and images created by Shange's words. I clearly blocked some parts of the story out of my head (all which came rushing back to me at the appropriate places...if you've seen it you can OMG with me). I think that if you are unfamiliar with the stories or the nature of the play/book there will be parts of it that are a bit confusing and dialogue that makes no real natural sense. But in general, I can truly say that I enjoyed watching it.

However, when I left the movie I felt so heavy. My spirit was just tired. This is where my mind went: So much of the Black experience that gets told are stories about triumph out of pain. Success over all obstacles. Unity in times of peril. I think we spend so much time explaining and celebrating our strength in times of hardship that we forget that our strength was there long before the hardship even existed. It is because of that pre-existing strength, versatility, courage and faith that we were able to survive all of these years.

Please understand that I'm not saying that those stories don't need to be told. We have to keep those stories alive or else they'll become dusty, fogotten pages in the history books. What I am saying is, we have to find a way to celebrate our lives in general. We need to show that it's OK to be happy. It's OK to have an 'easy' life. It's OK to be OK. I believe those who fought and died for us to live this 'equal' life did so to make it OK. The entire black experience cannot solely be summarized by oppression. Nor can we say everything is WONDERFUL, cause we know it's not. We (just like EV-ER-RY-THING) need a balance.

And please believe that balance does not come in the form of a wedding, reunion, or funeral movie. I saw yet another wedding movie trailer. (Looks interesting but really....) For some of the most creative and innovative people we recycle the most tired ass story lines. We just cannot, CANNOT have yet another wedding movie. We just can't. Nervous groom, crazy, panicked bride, evil mother in law, crazy groomsman, man hating, jealous bridesmaids, reconnecting with old loves, resolving past unfinished business..I get it...we all have country cousins, hood cousins, sididdy cousins, broke cousins, lazy cousins, thieving cousins.... Funerals can quickly become a hot mess if not clearly controlled...I get it.... let's just sum them all up with a "haha, oh! no she didn't, awww, two snaps in z-formation, oooooh".... Feel good? Great...let's do something else.




3 comments:

Tony Stark said...

I've never read the original...or even heard of it. Tyler Perry's trailer did seem interesting though (& I'm not a fan of his films). I agree about the balancing you're talking about. That's why I like director like F. Gary Gray. I do however think that the reason we don't see enough balance in "black Hollywood" is because funding never makes its way to green-light anything else...just corny comedy's. Also, I for one am not a fan of the "rapper slash actor"...they have less acting talent than some starving black actor who deserves a real shot (somebody PLEASE tell T.I. & Luda...PLEASE!!!).

Professor Locs said...

Once again you have given us food for thought. I am eager to see the movie now but I agree there is a pattern of hardship in the story lines. There is such a thing as a happy Black woman somewhere right? It sounds like you might have some writing to do to get that story out there....I will be the first in line when you do...smile.

GGirl said...

One thing I do want to add for any men considering going to view this movie. In the book/play the words and descriptions came only from the women. I think it was interesting to how Tyler Perry used the men to help further develop these characters. Put a face to these women's trauma. But please stay focused. Please understand that this movie is not about the men. It's not about what the men did to these women. It's about how these women 'survived' and began to find themselves after these events. So please, take it as that. And pass the message along to all these men with bruised egos and anger. I get what the beef is. But this time it is truly not about you, boo-boo.

Subscribe