I had the opportunity to see The Help yesterday and I must say, it is one of the best and most powerful movies in a long time. The movie is based on a book (which I must admit, I have not read), and is set in Civil Rights era Jackson, Mississippi. The three main characters are Skeeter, a privileged white girl who was raised by the family's black maid, Constantine; Aibileen, a black maid, who works for one of Skeeter's childhood friends; and Minny, a second black maid, who was fired by another one of Skeeter's childhood friends. The general themes throughout the movie are friendship, racism, and the courage to make a difference. Woven throughout the movie are moments you learned about in the history books (the prevalence of Jim Crow in every day life, some powerful speeches by various civil rights leaders, the murder of Emmett Till, Kennedy's assassination, etc.), but you see these moments through the eyes of "small town" people.
The movie is not only powerful but has its funny parts as well. So funny that half of the theater was practically rolling in the aisles with laughter. But there were also moments that brought tears to my eyes, parts where the whole theater gasped in disbelief and outrage. But perhaps the most interesting part was that I heard several young African-American women who had been sitting behind me talk about how glad they were that they were born in 1985. I don't blame them, I'm glad I was born in 1985 too. I would whole heartedly recommend that you go see this film. The acting and story are amazing.