What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this emotionally intense adaptation of Kathryn Stockett's best-selling Civil Rights-era novel isn't likely to appeal to young kids but is a historically relevant drama that mature tweens and teens can see with their parents. The film not only teaches about segregation and the importance of racial equality, but it also shows how oppressed people have important stories to tell. The language is tame for a PG-13 movie except for the word "s--t," which is used several times, and one casual use of the "N" word by a bus driver. African Americans are referred to as "negro," and a grown-up restaurant worker is called "boy" by white patrons. There's no graphic violence, but a character is obviously physically abused by her husband, and a woman has a miscarriage, leaving her in a pool of her blood. Reflecting the '60s setting, almost everyone (even a pregnant woman) smokes cigarettes and drinks.
- Families can talk about how the movie depicts African Americans' struggle for racial equality. How accurate do you think it is? How could you find out more about this part of history?
- Are the characters realistic? Do you consider any of them to be stereotypes? If so, why?
- Some have criticized Stockett's story for making a white character central to the Civil Rights movement. How is the movie sensitive to this issue? What did you learn about the South under Jim Crow laws?
- For those who've read the book, how faithful is the movie adaptation? What changes did you like? What do you wish the director had included?