...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

July 16, 2007

Their Eyes Were Watching God - 5

This Oprah made-for-TV movie is based on a 1937 book by Zora Neale Hurston. Her book is considered a important contribution to African-American and Women's literature. The film chronicles the live and love of Janie (Halle Berry), who first is arrange into a marriage with an older man, soon runs off with a sophisticated Joe Starks, who becomes mayor of the all African-American town- Eatonville, Florida. She soon realizes that she is a trophy wife and when Joe dies she is pursued by many younger men who are looking to cash in on her wealth. She eventually finds real love with Tea Cake - they leave Eatonville and the film climaxes at his unlucky contraction of rabies...and Janie's eventual killing of him in self-defense. The general theme is sacrificing all to find real love. The book which has a more complex plot seems to explore broader themes of culture (I doubt Hurston would be proud of this film version).

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