OK for kids 13+
Inspiring, intense tale about hardship, bigotry, redemption.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Places in the Heart is set in Texas during The Great Depression and shows a community dealing with poverty, lack of hope, and racial prejudice. Important messages about family, compassion, and respect for individual differences are effectively delivered. Several dramatic sequences are suspenseful and scary (a shooting, a beating, a turbulent storm); other scenes dealing with the bigotry of the time are highly charged and unsettling (the "N" word is used). Though outcomes are inspirational and prove that human goodness and ingenuity are rewarded, there are sad moments (spoiler alert: a father is killed; a young African-American is lynched; a violent storm threatens a town). A sub-plot concerns an adulterous relationship (some kissing, embracing, no nudity). Characters smoke; wine is used in a religious ceremony.
- Families can discuss the unique nature of Edna's "new" family. How does that reflect the variety of family structures in the United States today?
- Use Edna's experience with the bank and Moze's encounters with the cotton merchant as examples of prejudices against both women and racial minorities. How much has changed since the events in this movie? Do you think we have further to go? .Why?
- Did the film's ending have a major impact on you? What do you think the filmmaker's intention was? What did they want you to take away from this movie?