Many of us spent our day unwrapping gifts and cooking for our loved ones. Some of us also spent Christmas supporting black films.
Fences, starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis (both performed in the stage play prior to the film in 2010), opened in theaters Christmas Day. Theaters were packed with families waiting in line to see this film.
The film, which is an adaptation of a August Wilson play under the same name, is about a man named Troy (played by Washington), a working class man who had dreams of playing major league baseball but didn't achieve them. Throughout the film, Troy's relationship with his wife (played by Viola Davis) are tested by his drinking, his affairs, and the way he treats his sons, one who's a musician, and the younger son, a high school football player who is being recruited by a college recruiter. While their relationship is being tested, Troy is also testing his son's manhood when he not only interferes with his dreams of playing football, but when he demands his son to help him build a fence around the house (hence the name of film).
The message of the film correlates to this holiday season; family, forgiveness, and will to live.
In the film, Denzel's characters seems to live a life he's settled for as opposed to a life he is capable of living, letting life's obstacles get the best of him. The lesson in this is to never let life get you off track. The purpose of Troy's character was to show the audience how one should not live; Troy was created to teach us that we shouldn't pass on our regrets and anger to the future generation.
The film deals a lot with family and forgiveness as I mentioned. The family interaction is something to pay attention to in this film, especially with the twist and turns that happen throughout the story. Troy and his interactions with his sons are a reflection of the male relationships we see in our own communities today. The ending of the film teaches us how to forgive and to appreciate those that are here. During a family tragedy, the family does come together and reminds each other, while times were tough, the love and care for one another was still there. It was teaching the audience that even though family members may hurt one another from time to time, we must never forget all they've done for us.
Fences is one of many August Wilson plays that teaches the black community the important of life and family. To see this come to life in a film adaptation with an amazing cast of talented actors moved me, almost to tears (but I held it together for August Wilson). If you haven't checked it out, please go out and support this Golden Globe nominated film.