Sunday, January 15, 2017

"Hidden Figures" and the Aspects of Religion

Yesterday we went to see Hidden Figures--what a great movie!

I know that some people might see this kind of movie as homework--but it's not, despite its rootedness in history, in recovering a history that's been lost.  I've heard it referred to as a movie made the way that movies used to be made, and that's a compliment:  there are fully formed characters (more than one!), attention to detail, a narrative arc, and oddly, a lot of suspense, even though I knew how it all turned out.

For a traditional movie review, see this blog post on my creativity blog.  Here I want to think about the religious aspects of the movie.  Let me specify that the religious aspects are quiet--but they're there.

Early in the movie, we see a scene set in church.  A different viewer might see this scene as one that explains a romance that we see played out in the movie.  How many viewers have lost or never knew the idea that religious practices were a major part of people's lives not too long ago?

Because the characters are religious, we don't see them wrestle with sexual issues--or maybe it's because it's the early 60's.  Or maybe because there are children.  I found it refreshing.  There's an idea that the kisses that come early in a relationship are a big deal--not something done on the first date.

We see characters say grace--I found this as refreshing a change as seeing women do math and make the computers work.

Like I said, it's a quiet aspect of the movie--not quite hidden, but quiet.  But it's there, and if I had more time, I might explore how the religious aspects help keep the characters rooted--and civilized--and ready to stand up for themselves--if, indeed, we can give religion the credit.  Maybe it's the friendship of the women.  It's not an aspect we see in the movie, that idea that religion keeps us ready for fights for social justice, or at least it's not there openly, the way it is in Selma, for example.

Perhaps the quiet aspect is more realistic, in the way that so much of the movie is realistic--and refreshing.

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