Introduction to Film

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  • Topic: Soul Food, Film, Focal length
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  • Published : February 17, 2013
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Soul Food

ENG 225 Introduction to Film

Soul Food

Have you ever wondered why mom wants everyone to come over for Sunday dinner? In this paper I will share the beauty of having Sunday dinner with the family and how important it is to keep it going. Here I will show you a family nearly falls apart until it is saved by love, understanding and good cooking. Most Sunday dinners are gathered around plenty of food and a bunch of love. The movie I have chosen is “Soul Food”. The reason I choose this movie is because it shows us how hard it is for families to stay together, but through much love and prayer all things are possible for those who believe. This film is a celebration of life and family, and recognition that, through good times and bad times, the ties of blood provide an unbreakable life-line.

Now I will give you a brief summary of the movie. The story is told through the eyes of Big Mama's grandson Ahmad (Brandon Hammond). Soul Food tells the story of the trials of the Joseph family when their beloved matriarch, Mama Joe (Irma P. Hall), slips into a diabetes-induced coma. Without Mama Joe's ritual Sunday dinners to keep everyone together, the family begins to drift apart, with gaps widening between sisters and spouses. The film essentially follows the lives of Mama Joe's three daughters. Terri (Vanessa L. Williams), the eldest, is a driven lawyer who puts work above her neglected husband, Miles (Michael Beach). Miles is tempted away from his steady, well-paying job by the lure of his true love, music, and away from his wife by the proffered charms of Terri's cousin, Faith (Gina Ravera). Maxine (Viveca Fox) is happily married to Kenny (Jeffrey D. Sams), and spends her days caring for her husband and three children. Bird (Nia Long) is newly hitched to ex-con Lem (Mekhi Phifer), an intense, caring man whose volatile temper often proves to be his undoing.

I will start out with storytelling; this movie is narrated through the eyes of an African American child. The narrator tells the story of his grandmother, and her four daughters.  Soul Food deals with the grandmother’s struggle to preserve African American culture and tradition in her four daughters and grandchildren.  The four daughters are modern day women who face the challenge of holding on to this cultural tradition after the grandmother dies.  Furthermore, the narrator faces the challenge of carrying on his grandmother’s wishes to make sure that culture and tradition are preserved within that family. The movie is in chronological order because it starts out the grandmother isn’t sick. Then as the movie moves goes on she get sick and dies.  The movie takes place in Chicago. The biggest conflict in this movie is getting all the sisters to get along with each other. The conflict is finally resolved when the mama dies. That is one reason to have Sunday dinner with your family and keep having them as long as you can. You never know when someone you are eating next too just might not make the next Sunday.

I will continue to look at the storytelling side of the movie. The main character that experienced an internal conflict was Mother Joe. The conflict was that she was really sick and she had a very hard time telling her kids. This movie have many symbols while watching ``Soul Food,'' I reflected that in many ways it depicts a world which white audiences will find unfamiliar. Oh, Big Mama's family shares the same kinds of values, problems, worries, successes and failures as whites. But movies and TV often focus only on a narrow wedge of black America, showing pimps and junkies, outlaw teenagers and con men, but ignoring the vast and substantial African-American middle and working classes.

The next part of my paper I will introduce you to the actors. The first one I will tell you about is Vanessa Williams as Teri is one of the most respected and multi-faceted...
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