My oldest son is nearly 6 and I can tell you, in the last six years the only movies I've seen in a theatre have involved some sort of animated animal, Princess, or odd looking Lego character. So yes, I'm late to the party. I'm that person watching the Oscars and pulling for whoever looked best in the trailer since I never actually made it to the movie.
From there I sit back and wait for the day when rushing my kids to the children's section of the library I may notice one of these Oscar winners on the front row of the movie rental section and can grab it before one of the boys screams loud enough to have my library card revoked!
Such was the case last week when I noticed the title "12 Years A Slave." I immediately grabbed it having heard the reviews and praise. I watched the movie last night after the kids were in bed and I sit here tonight with it still haunting me. An outstanding movie without doubt. A story, based on an actual real person's experiences, that is riveting. And yet, one of the most disturbing movies I've ever sat through.
But sit through it I did. Through the beatings, through the emotions that will rip your heart out, through the inequality, disrespect and unspeakable racism that I can only pray my children are never privy too. I sat through it and cried, tried to understand that unspeakable pain and despair, because what right do I have to turn my back to it?
If I had rented Oscar nominee The Wolf of Wall Street instead, would I have even remembered it today? Would I have taken the time last night to pray for those poor souls that suffered through lives of slavery?
No, I don't have much time for movies these days. But damn if I'm not thankful for picking up one that reminds me of how lucky my children and I are to live in a place without that extreme racism. Racism as a whole will likely never end, but thank God for reminders to teach equality of all people to our children in the hopes that positive change continues and eventually wins.