A few weeks ago, a well meaning co-worker, also a movie nut was talking about some movies he wanted to lend to me. The movies he had were American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave. At the mention of 12 Years, I turned up my nose and told him, I don’t know who you have that movie for, but you definitely don’t have it for me. I explained that I never have any intention of ever watching that movie.
I’m a black woman and I’m well versed on African American history. I know about the ugliness of the slave trade and everything leading right up to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond. I know how entire families were separated during slavery and how the water hoses and dogs were turned on us during the protests. I don’t need a history lesson about what happened during those times, because I already know. Going back over that history and seeing it acted out is just too much and to me is like throwing salt in the wound. Some people may enjoy the movie, but it would just upset me. The same goes for any upsetting point in time, whether it be a war movie or even dealing with the Holocaust. Seeing innocent people mistreated onscreen is not the thing for me.
Now I can appreciate the movie, just like I can appreciate classical music. That doesn’t mean I want to see it. I’m glad that Lupita got her Oscar and other awards for her role. I’m looking forward to seeing her do big things. And I’m glad that it won Best Picture. I was rooting for Chiwetel Ejiofor to win an award, since I’ve been following his career for a number of years, but he’ll get his chance eventually.
For me movies are an escape from the ugliness of reality. Emotionally I don’t want to get that involved. I just want to eat my popcorn and relax.