Today, I’m going to start out a little different. I’m going to talk about my Netflix Original first, then I’m going to talk to you about a movie with Matthew McConaughey. The Netflix Original is First Match. I’m not one to keep you guys waiting, so here goes!
We are seeing more programming that highlights problematic situations in America. In the movie First Match , we are introduced to Monique. She’s a teenage girl bouncing from foster care to her mother and back to foster care again. Monique’s journey really starts after she sees her father show up out of the blue. She’s wanted to live with him for a while and after they met by accident one night, she developed a plan to capture his attention. This movie will make you cry, so I warn you. If you are anything like me, get a box of tissues and enjoy. I found this movie to be symbolic of the foster care child. They are children who often want to be reunited with their families, but for different reasons that reunion doesn’t always need to take place.
In Monique’s situation, both of her parents show why she was taken away from them. Her willingness to please her father is the real hitter here. It really shows how daughters crave that relationship in ways that many of us could never imagine. This is a movie that really brings home the importance of a support system. Support systems can save you or damn you depending on the fruit of that system. I do not want to give the movie away, because this is a must watch. Watch it this weekend. It’s such a good movie and it will make you think.
The next movie I have to talk about is Free State of Jones. I first heard the world nigger when I was in middle school. I remember being in my History class and this white kid talked about why he didn’t like black people. He continued with his lecture and then I was like if that’s how you feel, why are you talking to me? He then went on to tell me how I wasn’t a nigger like the rest of black kids he was talking about. Well, that really didn’t make me feel any better. I’m black, and that word was offensive to me and all of the people who looked like me.
So, fast forward to last night and my viewing of Free State Of Jones. In the first 6 to 7 minutes Matthew McConaughey’s character Mr. Newton Knight started explaining to his pals about not wanting to be anyone’s nigger. The first time he said it, I leaned in and looked at my husband. The second time he said it, I listened a little more and then after he said it a few more times, it started to sink in. Anyone can be someone’s nigger. I mean the way the word was used throughout history was to demean a class of people that another group felt was underneath them. That way of thinking not only went for black people, but for Irish and poor people as well. I feel like Mr. Knight was one of the smartest men that lived in the Civil War era next to John Brown. It really makes you look at the word in another light and it takes away the shame of it. Mr. Knight created a band of misfits, so to say and protected the displaced from the Confederate soldiers who were increasing taxes on people.
Often when we hear about the Civil War here in the South, we hear about how the Yankees did a lot of dirt, we haven’t really heard anything about how the South took from those farmers and increased taxes on people which really pushed people into near death situations. It was an eye opening movie because I didn’t know that people were exempt from the war if they owned slaves. I don’t recall learning that in college when I took the two classes on the Civil War. So, Mr. Knight was like the American version of Robin Hood. At one point in the movie when a black character was called nigger by one of the white soldiers, he replied by asking him in a round of about way, how was he not a nigger too. Mr. Knight went on to explain how the South was making all of the poor people niggers and how color wasn’t even the issue. Can I say that Matthew McConaughey was brilliant? He was Mr. Knight and he made me want to know about the man and shake his hand for being do darn smart. To me this was better than A Time to Kill, and I loved that movie. It not only made me see the Civil War in another light, but it kind of made me see things a little differently today. Here we are fighting against one another while the people at the top are toasting to the chaos. If a Civil War were to break out today the Clintons, Trumps, Sanders, and Obamas wouldn’t be going anywhere. This country belongs to the people, but for some reason we have forgotten that. Why are we fighting against each other on the behalf of someone else’s pocketbook? For many of these people it’s about money and power. Do we even know who’s in it for us anymore?