The movie I selected to do my historical movie review on is “Hidden Figures”, directed by Theodore Melfi, and story was from Margot Lee Shetterly. The reason I chose this particular movie is because it is based on a team of women fighting for equal rights, while working for NASA, a U.S space program. This movie speaks on such critical causes, and I wanted to learn more about those causes. The group of women who fought for equality impacts us present day in many ways. One way is it shows how they fought in the earlier years, and them fighting allows us to have equality. This sets an example for us when we get the chance to stand up and fight for what we believe.
In the movie, I think I will see a team of intelligent women fighting for their rights because they are fed up with people treating them differently because their race is African American. I think I will see women prosper in their jobs because of their actions. Also, I think those who did not have respect for the women will finally at last have respect for them. I believe that by the actions of the women, it will change their employees hearts and outlook on African Americans. Lastly, I believe I will see a change in rules at the women’s jobs.
The type of movie is based on true events, and the genre is comedy, drama, and historical fiction. The main characters are Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. These events take place in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, 1926. In the exposition of the movie, Katherine is displayed as a child, and her parents were called in by the office of her school to speak about her transferring into a different school. This new school provided her a full scholarship and a higher education. Then Katherine, Dorothy, and Mary are shown as adults, and were on their way to work when their car broke down.
A police had stopped them and questioned them, then escorted them to their job. In the rising action, Katherine had been chosen to be the new mathematician at NASA. Katherine entered her new job, and was given an extreme amount of work that had to be done at the end of the day. The more work Katherine got done, the more she outstood to her co-workers.
In the climax, Al Harrison, Katherine’s boss questions her where does she go a couple times a day for forty minutes. Katherine replies that there is no colored bathroom for her to use in the building, so she has to walk more than a mile just to use the restroom. This causes Al Harrison to break down the racist signs from the bathrooms. In the falling action, Katherine gets married to a man that she met at a church barbecue. The following week, Al Harrison brought the news to Katherine that they did not need her anymore as the mathematician. Mary goes to court so she can receive permission to attend an all white school so she can receive another degree so she can become an engineer for NASA. Mary was granted the ability to attend night classes at the school. In the resolution, John Glenn was about to be launched off into orbit, but the landing calculations did not match up correctly. The NASA team had to get Katherine to do the calculations again. John Glenn was launched and orbited the Earth three times, and the landing numbers were exactly correctly calculated by Katherine.
The particular event that “Hidden Figures” depict is African Americans fighting for equality. They received inequalities because of the color of their skin. The society created conflicts towards them due to issues with gender, and race. The subject of the movie is negative because the African Americans did not receive equality, but the way that the movie deals with the subject is in a positive manner. The reason for this is the conflict that African Americans faced was solved at the resolution.
After viewing the movie, I learned that our culture has a habit of judging too quickly. Our culture has the instinct to judge someone based on their looks but not based on who they are. I learned that the American society can do amazing changes and make history if we unite and work together. Based on how Katherine, Mary, and Dorothy were treated I think that history might be repeating itself. I believe this because humans today in our society are being criticized for their race and religion.
The central message of the movie is do not judge someone based on their gender or race because you never know the potential they have. I believe this is the central message of the movie because Katherine was judged because she was “colored” and a woman. When Al Harrison, Katherine’s boss recognized her potential and intelligence, she was finally respected. Katherine was not just considered a colored woman, she was more than that to her boss now. The movie was very effective in conveying the central message because in the exposition Mary, Dorothy, and Katherine were criticized based on their looks, but as the film goes on, their intelligence stands out to the rest of the employees at NASA.
A few questions that were unanswered in the movie were “What was the support system that gave Dorothy, Katherine, and Mary the confidence to fight for equality that had been caused by the society?” and “Why did the American society have something against the one race: African Americans?”. I think that the movie not answering these questions was done on purpose because they wanted the audience to analyze and think about the questions. The information that I gained about American culture, history, and society that may not be conveyed by a written source is how much African Americans were discriminated. I would not be able to gain this information from a written source because it would be challenging for me to visualize it. Since it was conveyed through a movie, I was able to see discrimination occurring and I was able to visualize it occurring in history.
I do believe that the film encouraged me to know more about the subject of the movie because I was aware of how African Americans were treated, but I did not know as much in detail. The film provided examples of African Americans being treated unfairly and I was not aware of them. For instance, when Katherine was chosen to be the new mathematician, she asked an employee where the ladies room was, she replied that she did not know where their bathroom was. “Their” meaning the colored bathroom. This meant for Katherine to use the restroom, she had to walk more than a mile to the colored bathroom. Another example is when Dorothy went to the library with her two kids. While she was browsing, a librarian came up to her saying that she did not want any trouble. Dorothy then replied stating that she did not come there to cause any trouble. The librarian then asked why she was not in the colored section of the library. Dorothy was not in the colored section because they did not have what she needed. This caused the security guard kick them out the library.
I would recommend this film because it is based on true events that speak about an inequality that was a conflict and then was solved. These events are one of the reasons why African Americans do not have to use separate facilities. It makes who we are today. Watching this movie, will give a sense of appreciation to all of those who battled for equality. If this movie was viewed by someone with little or no knowledge of American history or culture, I believe that this movie will affect their view of American society and culture by them recognizing that because of the battle that was fought by African Americans we have gained equal rights. They will see what occurred years ago, and how that impacts our culture today. They will realize that if you have a goal and the society is creating conflicts because of your gender or race, you can fight for equality and accomplish your goal. Accomplishing your goal may create a change in the society and culture.