love, life, and the pursuit of liberation
A and I went to see this movie today in our cherished and long-awaited free time sans kid. I had been wanting to see this film because it was based on the choreopoem by Ms. Shange, who went to my alma mater (go Barnard!), though we both had reservations because it was by Tyler Perry (another post for another day).
I am so glad we did.
This film felt like snatching off the scab of a wound, a wound that had been deep and hidden for such a long time. The wound beneath the strong black woman persona. The naked and vulnerable truth about ALL that we negotiate over generations, in our individual lives, in the world. I had read (and even taught) this work in the past, but somehow seeing it now, I truly got it.
Critics maintain that this is yet another black male-bashing film. But to me it isn’t. It’s about how we negotiate to survive. And the underlying pain. And the sometimes bad choices. And the way that we surpress our hurt and betrayal. And the ways that we accept and settle so that we can be seen as woman, as feminine, as valid, as worthy.
I cried throughout the entire movie.
Not only because of our collective hurt. But because we have some responsibility in our own pain AND in our healing, as Gilda says to the Lady in Brown.
A asked me did I think that this story was particular to “colored girls” and to be truthful I don’t know. I’ve only been a colored girl. And this story resonated in my soul.
So far, it gets two thumbs up for me. I want to share this story with my own daughter one day, though I’d give my life to prevent her from “colored girl pain.” I can’t wait for it to come out on DVD because this will be a permanent part of my collection, next to The Color Purple, Daughters of the Dust, and so many other treasures.
Bravo Mr. Perry.