36 thoughts on “Turning Over in Her Grave”

  1. To this day Hollywood has been unable to produce a film highlighting the courage of black activists during the great struggle for civil rights in the South in the 1960s. That is a shocking failure. Not one film (to my knowledge) even tried to tell the story accurately with due respect to all the black freedom fighters who suffered and died for their cause.

    Worse than that, the one film associated with that story is a horrible lie. Mississippi Burning pretends to be about the efforts to bring to justice those racists responsible for assassinating Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and James Chaney. Instead of telling the story honestly, the film presents a fairy tale about courageous white FBI officials unmasking the local KKK murderers. The truth is that the FBI did as little as possible to protect civil rights workers in 1964, a time when FBI director J Edgar Hoover was personally campaigning to destroy respect for Martin Luther King.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. You ask exactly the right question, BiR. I sometimes forget I don’t see nearly as many films as I once did. I haven’t seen Selma yet. Selma is almost surely the best film produced so far to address the courage of black men and women who fought for Civil Rights. It doesn’t show the FBI or any other white institution behaving heroically (or that is what I’ve read). And I understand Selma was produced by an African American.

        I’ve read that some scholars believe Selma is unfair to Lyndon Johnson, and I suppose that could be true. He was such a complicated guy that it would be easy to misrepresent his contribution to this area of US history. The film as a whole, however, is essentially true to history, which marks it far above Mississippi Burning . . . a true “travesty.”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Don’t you think a true “travesty” is a bit of hyperbole? Mississippi Burning was loosely based on true events. It was not attempting to depict the Civil Rights struggle from a black perspective. I thought it was an excellent, though necessarily violent film. True, it wasn’t telling the story you’re lamenting that Hollywood hasn’t yet told, but as films go, I thought it compelling. The story it tells is certainly a story worth telling.


        2. I think it is regrettable when any film based on real events is misleading. For example, I understand the Robert Stone film JFK presents the Kennedy assassination as the product of a conspiracy, never acknowledging the fact many careful scholars of the event believe Stone’s interpretation of history to be extreme and not true to facts.

          But JFK is not a “travesty.” What makes me think Mississippi Burning is a travesty is that it falsely credits whites for doing what was really done by blacks AND it falsely suggests that the FBI was a progressive force at a time when we know J Edgar Hoover was a paranoid and out of control figure who was using his agency to destroy the reputation of Martin Luther King. I continue to think of that as a travesty.


        3. The FBI’s handling of the Mississippi Burning was NOT representative of J. Edgar Hoover’s paranoia or attempts to discredit Martin Luther King Jr. Don’t forget that MLK Jr. was a very controversial figure at the time, not the revered Civil Rights leader that we celebrate today.

          The FBI’s handling of this case was a clear signal that President Johnson gave this case a very high priority. He pulled out all the stops to get to the bottom of this case. However regrettably, the Mississippi Burning case received the attention it did exactly because two white men (both Jews) had been killed. The third man killed was a black man, and I have my severe doubts that this case would have gained the attention it did had they all been black. That’s not to say that I think that’s right or fair, but it remains a regrettable fact.

          I stand by my assessment of the film. It’s worth seeing.


        4. Note that I didn’t say the film was not worth watching. We can learn by watching almost anything, even a Trump encounter with the press.

          I’ve just been doing some reading about the stance of the FBI toward Civil Rights workers and blacks during the 1960s. I’ll stand by my earlier statements about this. I’ve read that FBI agents stood by without response while mobs attacked blacks.

          One paper examining this issue concludes:
          When examining the movement in this aspect and how Hoover ignored the deaths of black civil rights activists, it is clear that throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s, J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI based their involvement in civil rights cases on the color of a victim’s skin and not on the crime that was committed.


        5. You’re a better man than I, Steve, if you can stomach watching DT interacting with the press, especially if you’re also learning something from it.


  2. A movie that came out in the last few years based on a book — but the name escapes me — had the heroine live in the end, when she died tragically but heroically in the book. Might have been the “Divergent” series, but I just can’t remember. Might come to me later.
    That totally pissed me off. Not that I want wonderful, strong, courageous heroes or heroines to die, but it was so impactful in the book. It’s when Hollywood sanitizes endings to be all sweet and wonderful when they aren’t is annoying.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love movies with authentically happy endings. “Sully” was wonderful and based on actual events. What could have been an awful tragedy was an amazing miracle and everybody lived! That’s a great story.
    Having brave heroes die in the end is so sad. I remember watching “Rogue One” and about 3/4 of the way through the film (spoilers), I realized they were all going to die trying to get the schematic of the Death Star to the Rebel Alliance. Oh man, I cried. But it’s powerful stuff as it is much more realistic.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The 2014 movie Noah was a travesty. I don’t mind some dramatic license being be taken with Bible stories but that film was waaaaaay off. Which reminds me of the hideous TV movie about Noah that starred Jon Voight.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I think Harvey Weinstein is a cinematic travesty of a different sort. I wonder if someone will try to represent that story on film? He is a villain who might translate to cinema accurately, but what a horror to watch. The treatment of women and minorities in Hollywood appears to be a chronic problem that is magnified by the money and power dynamics of the industry. Film is not subtle which might be why that medium struggles to represent some of the underlying dynamics of any issue.

    I find real rabbits in my garden a travesty, but that is not cinematic in any way. I have commented many times now about how I have morphed into Farmer MacGregor in my old age (complete with overalls and pitchfork). I am now living across the street from the Fountain Hills Community Garden which first appeared last year as a community project. It is a fenced grouping of raised beds next to the Public Library. I walk over there daily when walking the dogs. Tuesday a rabbit, plump and sleek, hopped right by us, INSIDE the rabbit fence.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I never saw it, but I believe the most recent film version of The Scarlet Letter was a real travesty. I recall hearing how the ending was changed so that Hester and the minister fled together to live happily ever after with an Indian tribe.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, that makes me laugh. Demi Moore as a Puritan is quite the mental image.

          I wonder if the writers would ever represent the Puritan men as harassing Hester relentlessly, and Hester trying to avoid them, rather than Hester as an “Adultress.”

          Liked by 4 people

        2. Winona Ryder for some reason pops into my mind as Hester there’s a wonderful show on Netflix called strange something or other starring Winona Ryder and it’s not good it’s great


    1. It is so interesting to think about what, in any movie, engages people. I have not ever seen Gladiator. But when that was issued I knew people who were so enamored by it that they saw it many times. And you walked out on it due to the violence.


  6. I don’t think I’ve ever walked out on a movie. I’ve slept through a few.
    Speaking of which; ‘Tosca’, the opera, in theaters tomorrow!

    OT: I’m reading ‘The Martian’. I saw the movie first. I am loving the book; I can’t put it down! I know how it ends from the movie, (well, I presume I know) but still, I’m really enjoying it. Is he going to make it?? What will happen next??

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Interesting band. I read The Martian right before the movie came out and I loved it so much, it was my number one book that year, that I have made it a point to never see the movie. I don’t want the reality of what’s in my head to be changed by what they put on film.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. That is another movie that is so beloved by some people. What is your specific objection? I have seen the movie, but I have not read the book. Did they mess with the book?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. The biggest travesty that I’ve ever seen was Shining Through. The book is by Susan Isaacs. The book is actually one of my favorites of all time and it’s my go-to book when I just want to read something that makes me feel good. The character really grows and changes during the book in a very believable way and that is one of my favorite things about it. She was also the heroine in the end. You know of course what Hollywood did. They made her smart and sassy and mouthy at the beginning and then had Michael Douglas save the day at the end. Really pisses me off.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. I tried to go to the first Lord of the Rings movie at a theater and couldn’t take the violence on the big screen (I’m a wimp). I walked out because my stomach was so tied up in knots that I thought I might get sick.

    Fast forward a few years and my kids were watching LOTR on video. I watched a few minutes and was very upset by how they portrayed Faramir in the movie. When I read the book(s), I was stuck by what a man of integrity, humility, and truthfulness Faramir was, with an inner strength that was admirable. In the movie, if I recall correctly, he is portrayed as more cunning and weak in character. It irked me. A lot.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Husband often goes “off list” when browsing for DVDs at the library. Several times we haven’t made it through the movie, it’s so awful. Sometimes we’ll stick it out till then end, when I ask myself – WHY in the world did someone want us to have that particular cinema experience? I wish I could remember the name of one in particular, to give you all fair warning, but alas, I cannot so far…


    1. I remember picking up a movie at the library “The Last King of Scotland” about Idi Amin as played by Forest Whitaker. It’s a good movie and won Academy Award for Forest Whitaker, but it’s a brutal and disturbing movie as may suspect.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The travesty to me is just what entertainment has become
    we are giving this wonderful vehicles to do anything we want with in the crap that we crank out is incredible to me
    are used to think back in the day when threes company and full house or the sitcom’s of the masses that we were a messed up society but today with the Version after version of the crap that they choose to over expose us to makes me sad
    my wife is a CSI Pham the crime scene investigation’s that when I first watched I thought were really interesting and did a nice job of telling the story but now that she is able to watch it 24 seven on the CSI channel it really makes me shake my head and wonder what in the world we’re doing
    Last night we were on a channel called decades and it went from a dick Cavett interview with Jack Lemmon to laugh in
    it was my moms birthday so we were sitting around the table playing a card game with the TV going out in the background and we were all laughing so hard at laugh and that my 25-year-old thought there was something really wrong with us she didn’t understand the humor at all
    Very interesting and falling over on a bicycle and socket to me just didn’t seem to him to be funny I don’t get it where has my parenting gone wrong?
    I still have a rule that if you’re doing channel surfing and you hit leave it to beaver or Andy of Mayberry you must stop


  11. Verily Sherrilee: I think you missed a post I put up yesterday. The money I sent you for the TB subscription has just been returned to me by the Post Office as “undeliverable.” But the address is right (by my records). Could you write me with your address? Sorry.


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