I Am For Colored Girls, pt. 3 of 3

Me and Dawn started talking about it in a Milwaukee restaurant called the Comet Cafe the day after we saw the movie.  We were away from the boy thanks to the kindness of Auntie Maggie, Grandma Washington, and Granny Gary.  We saw a late show the Sunday night before and instead of talking about what we saw–instead of me answering Dawn’s “So, tell me, where did you see God in the film?”–we pulled over into a parking lot and ordered custard, driving back to our hotel with cold teeth.  We didn’t get to talk about it immediately, despite Dawn pressing me.  But we did get to it.  

That conversation a couple weeks ago led to these posts.  I’m grateful to my wife’s thoughtful review.  I hope you appreciate her insights as well.  I’ll wrap this series up with a few of my opinions about For Colored Girls.

  1. The film was a filmI think art depicts life.  I think art is often, if not always, pushing a thought or an agenda.  But I don’t overstate the role of the medium through which a thought or agenda comes.  A film is a film, and while the screen carries power and has a good amount of influence, FCG has to be seen as a movie, as an artist’s rendering of a story, or, in this case, of a stageplay.
  2. That said, art provokes, and this movie provokes.  It makes me think about the role of men in relationships, poor and healthy.  It makes me wonder how strong I am as a husband when it comes to expressing my weaknesses and fears.  It makes me think of how well I handle my questions about life in relation to my life partner, my sister, my friends, and my mother.
  3. Men should watch this movie.  Men aren’t depicted well but the depiction is a fair one, especially since men can use the film as an invitation to good dialogue about what it means to be a man, to be in relationship to a woman, and to treat children and women well.  I’ve read a few things that folks have said about the movie, about the writing, and about the general depiction of men.  I do believe the movie is about women, primarily for girls, if you will.  But men always do well to take notes from the classes that enroll mostly women.
  4. Women-to-women relationships are invaluable.  I saw that in the movie.  I see that in life.  Women get each other when us men are trying to understand.  Women follow each other, track each other, feel each other while we’re doing our best to keep up and learn.  The fact is that there are some topics which women need to discuss with men, and there are some things that women need to discuss with other women.  Sisters are indispensable for each other.  A woman, a healthy woman almost always find it necessary to have solid sister-friends.  I am glad I have a role in the women in my life’s life.  But I’m glad they have others, and I’m thinking women here, to support them to.  Just as my life would be poorer without the women I have in it, theirs would be too.
  5. The words in this film are captivating.  This movie is worth seeing just to hear these great cast members fall into these long, flowing and engaging words.  I love words and if you love words–if you like to hear them or say them or write them or play with them–you’ll like them in the movie.
  6. Another quality installment in a still-growing conversation about AIDS.  I’m actually writing this particular thought on December 1, world AIDS day.  And I’m thinking about how many women lose the lives they want and the lives they aspire to because of the decisions of men to treat them wrecklessly.  Dawn commented on rape in her post, but the reality of AIDS further pierces the matter.  I appreciate that you couldn’t get away from Tyler Perry’s reminder that AIDS is real, and even though it comes from many directions, men cripple the lives of our women when we disregard them, behaving unfaithfully and wrecklessly.  I won’t say more because you should see the film to see how this is treated there.

Any thoughts?

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