The film “Places in the Heart“ is set in the 1930‘s at a time when sexism and
racism were very much present in the American society. The film tells the story of a
widow who is trying to keep her farm with the help of Moze, an African-American man
and Mr. Will, a blind man, during the Great Depression. Throughout the film, the
director stresses the importance of solidarity in facing down disaster. Each character has
to overcome their own adversities to help save the farm.
Edna Spalding has to become the provider for her and her two children, Possum and Frank, after the sudden death of her husband. She experiences sexism throughout the film. Mrs. Spalding gets an unexpected visit from the banker, who suggests she should sell her house because of the upcoming payments that she will not be able to make. She pays a visit to the banker to explain her plan to save her farm by selling cotton. After hearing her plan, the banker reacts harshly to her idea. He tells her sarcastically that other cotton farmers, who were men, weren’t able to keep their farms because of the Great Depression. In addition to the banker, the cotton gin owner tries to take advantage of her and tries to sell her second rate seed, and also when trying to negotiate the selling of the cotton she has grown. In the end it was her desire to save not only her farm but her family as well that helped her overcome her adversities.
Moze, an unemployed African-American drifter, comes by Mrs. Spalding’s house looking for work. After chopping wood, he decides to steal some of her silverware. Before leaving, Moze tells her about his idea of planting cotton on her 40 acres of land. The next day Moze shows up again, but this time in the custody of the police, who caught him with the silverware. Mrs. Spalding, seeing this as an opportunity to regain trust with Moze, gets him out of trouble. This action by Mrs. Spalding...