Teresa C., from Moment of Choice, sent in the trailer for the movie “The Secret Life of Bees.” What brought her attention to it was that it had a female voiceover, which is very uncommon. Voiceovers are almost always male. Unfortunately, she hasn’t been able to find a video of the trailer with the female voiceover online; if anyone finds it, let us know. This trailer just has some of the characters’ lines from the movie as narration.
What struck me about it–and Owen Gleiberman over at Entertainment Weekly–was that this seems to be another movie in which wise, long-suffering African American characters protect or enlighten White characters who are, at their core, good, kind liberals (we know that Dakota Fanning’s character is a Good White Person because she knows about the Civil Rights Act). As Gleiberman says in his review,
Isn’t it time that Hollywood took a sabbatical — maybe a permanent one — from movies in which black characters exist primarily to save the souls of white ones?…Over the years, we’ve all seen too many anachronistic ”magic Negroes” in movies like Forrest Gump and The Green Mile.
I would add “The Legend of Bagger Vance” to the list. They have important Black characters, but those characters’ main role is to facilitate the moral development of the White character through their wise advice and unending patience. I may be totally off, since I’ve only seen the trailer (though Gleiberman has seen the whole film), but “The Secret Life of Bees” seems to have a lot of the same themes.
Thanks for sending in the clip, Teresa!