Race Relations Hit The Big Screen This Season With “Fences” and “Hidden Figures”

So I just saw “Fences” the 2016 American drama directed and starring the mighty Denzel Washington. Based on August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name the film also stars Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, and Mykelti Williamson. The dialogue driven film was shot in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and tells the story of an African-American father who struggles with race relations in the US while trying to raise his family in the 50’s and coming to grips with his life.”Fences” is receiving critically acclaimed reviews earning both Washington and Davis Golden Globe Nominations. Although the movie is shot average keeping the simplicity of the play the film relies mostly on the strength of the writing(August Wilson-screenplay) and Washington’s stellar performance which once again proves why he is one of the greatest actors of our time. Being a father I really enjoyed this film because of all the timeless lessons that are taught about family, manhood, responsiblity and love that are as relevent then in 1950 as they are now if not more so.

I also got a chance to see “Hidden Figures” the biographical comedy-drama starring Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst and the lovely talented Taraji P. Henson as Katherine Johnson, the black American NASA mathematician who calculated flight trajectories for Project Mercury and the 1969 Apollo 11 flight to the Moon. Based Margot Lee Shetterly’s nonfiction book of the same name, directed by Theodore Melfi(St. Vincent) with a feel good soundtrack spearheaded by super producer Pharrell Williams “Hidden Figures” is what I like to call a all around crowd pleaser. Fun, funny yet strong showing a pivotal moment in not only black American history but American history. Simply put this was just one of those good times at the movies, the film has earned a Golden Globe nomination Octavia Spencer(Best Supporting Actress) and one for Best Original Score. Also if you look close check out the young actress Saniyya Sidney who has a role in both “Fences” AND “Hidden Figures”! How real is that?!? – Batts


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