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|Festivale online magazine, February, 1998|
Soul Food movie review
Soul Food is told from the point of view of a black American boy. It subscribes to the old cliche that "nothin' spells lovin' like food from the oven" -- a belief which feeds both the food and the diet industries. The ritual of big Sunday dinners is part of writer/director George Tillman's history, and we see his sub-culture through his eyes.
|What is troubling about this film is the message. What moves the story is the behaviour of three sisters: when they interfere in "men's business" they create trouble. When they apologise things get better.
Tillman has the professionally-employed sisters actually state that they envy the little brood-wife who stays at home and reproduces. She is rewarded with a happy marriage and healthy children.
This film is strongly reminiscent of the post-World War II films that sang the praises of motherhood and female domesticity, not out of respect, but to flush the women out of the paid (independent) work force and back into lives as little more than unpaid sex workers and household servants.
Happily ever after in Soul Food is women in the kitchen and men in front of the television. One of the excuses in the film is, "You don't know what it's like to be a black man.", well, the life they lead in Soul Food sure don't make my heart bleed.
See also: Hoodlum (Vanessa Williams)
|Just the facts:
Title: Soul Food (1998)
|The Players: Vanessa L. Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Beach, Mekhi Phifer, Brandon Hammand||Official website www.soul-food.com|
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Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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