Samad 1

Jacquline Samad

Professor Brown

History 106

25 April 2011

The Color Purple Film Critique

The Color Purple is a 1985 drama film directed by Steven Spielberge that centers around the story of a poor southern, Black woman, Cellie Harris who overcomes years of racism, sexism, and physical/verbal abuse from the men in her life like her own father and husband. As she lives her life as a slave to her husband, she meets two strong black women along the way that gives her the comfort and self empowerment to finally stand up for herself and not to give in to her husband's abuse. Cellie's new inner confidence also helps her to reconnect with her long lost sister, Nettie and her two children that she had by her father who had raped her when she was just a pubescent girl. The film is based on the actual novel written by Alice Walker.
The film's mood is most of the time very sad and lonesome as the character, Cellie misses her close sister, Nettie and has to live in a household where she is constantly told what to do and not have her own identity as a wife and a woman. Through out the film, Celie doesn't quite know how to stand up for herself and know her own worth as a woman since she is used to men taking advantage of her both mentally and physically ever since she was a child. Cellie doesn?t seem to complain but endure all of the mistreatment that she faces in the household from her husband. In that sense, Cellie feels quite alone in the household where she knows that no one seems to care about her feelings and happiness. The film's mood becomes quite hopeful at times when Cellie interacts with other black women who tells her their personal stories of struggle of being a woman.. Their stories help her feel like she isn't alone in feeling rejected and unimportant in society. Their stories give her a sense of self-empowerment to do something about it than nothing at all.
The film shows strength in how each character develops through different experiences
The film's time period of the United States takes place in the early 1900s to mid 1930s when the Civil War was over and the nation's Congress had passed the Thirteenth Amendment into the Constitution, which allowed many former black slaves to be free through out the south. These newly, ?emancipated? slaves were now moving into industrial cities to look for better job opportunities and higher quality of life. Others were able to open schools and established churches and even travel throughout the south to reunite with the family members that they might have been had been separated from. As these freed slaves were adjusting to the new freedom lifestyle, the state of Georgia was still predisposed to the anarchic mindset of slavery. Many White plantation owners had wanted the freed slaves to stay in the same powerless position that they had lived under slavery so that they could use them to work on their plantation for little or no pay. But tension grew between them as many of the freed slaves had started to refuse to work for long hours without anything in return.
As part of Reconstruction of the political and societal aspect of the south, the Blacks were granted a small portion of land. The Blacks in Georgia were granted 40 acres of land but some of it were taken away after the crops were harvested. For those landowners that had court decrees supporting their claim were able to keep their land. The blacks that didn't have their own property, had to obey the sharecropping method, where they were granted a small portion of their White owner's land by working for it and also sharing the profit when the crops are sold. So owning one's land had become the biggest goal for many Blacks to pursue since they saw it as the only path for their properity. As more and more Blacks gained economic power through land ownership, the Whites did anything as possible to reclaim their superiority over the Blacks. They did this by passing the ?separate but equal? rule, where the Blacks were not allowed to sit or be in places assigned as ?whites only?. They tried to deprive their voting rights by assigning a poll tax and