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Shows Like The Help

“Shows Like The Help: Exploring Themes of Empowerment and Resilience in Film and Television”

In recent years, there has been a surge in the popularity of shows and movies that focus on themes of empowerment, resilience, and social justice. One such film that has captivated audiences around the world is “The Help,” a 2011 drama directed by Tate Taylor. The film, adapted from Kathryn Stockett’s novel of the same name, explores the lives of African American maids working in white households in Mississippi during the 1960s.

“The Help” received critical acclaim for its powerful storytelling, stellar performances, and thought-provoking themes. The film’s portrayal of the struggles faced by African American women in a deeply segregated society resonated with audiences and sparked conversations about race, privilege, and social change.

If you enjoyed “The Help” and are looking for similar shows that delve into themes of empowerment and resilience, here are some recommendations along with 13 song examples that capture the spirit of each:

1. “Hidden Figures” (2016) – This biographical drama tells the untold story of three African American women mathematicians who played a crucial role in the early years of the American space program. The film’s uplifting message of perseverance and determination is perfectly captured in the song “Rise Up” by Andra Day.

2. “Selma” (2014) – Directed by Ava DuVernay, this historical drama chronicles the 1965 voting rights marches from Selma to Montgomery led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The song “Glory” by John Legend and Common, which won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, beautifully captures the spirit of the civil rights movement.

3. “The Color Purple” (1985) – Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, this film follows the life of Celie, an African American woman in the early 20th century South. The song “God is Trying to Tell You Something” by Quincy Jones and His Orchestra is a hauntingly beautiful gospel tune that underscores the film’s themes of faith and resilience.

4. “Hidden Figures” (2016) – This biographical drama tells the untold story of three African American women mathematicians who played a crucial role in the early years of the American space program. The film’s uplifting message of perseverance and determination is perfectly captured in the song “Rise Up” by Andra Day.

5. “The Butler” (2013) – Inspired by the true story of Eugene Allen, a White House butler who served eight presidents over three decades, this film offers a poignant look at the Civil Rights Movement through the eyes of one man and his family. The song “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke, a classic anthem of the civil rights era, perfectly complements the film’s themes of hope and change.

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6. “12 Years a Slave” (2013) – Based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, a free African American man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the antebellum South, this harrowing drama sheds light on the brutal realities of slavery and the resilience of the human spirit. The song “Roll Jordan Roll” by John Legend and the Roots captures the pain and perseverance of the film’s protagonist.

7. “Fences” (2016) – Adapted from August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, this film tells the story of Troy Maxson, a former baseball player struggling to provide for his family in 1950s Pittsburgh. The song “Gabriel’s Oboe” by Ennio Morricone, with its haunting melody and emotional resonance, echoes the film’s themes of family, duty, and sacrifice.

8. “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” (2017) – Based on Rebecca Skloot’s bestselling book, this film tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman whose cells were taken without her consent and used in groundbreaking medical research. The song “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday, a powerful protest song against racism and injustice, underscores the film’s exploration of ethics, identity, and legacy.

9. “Mudbound” (2017) – Directed by Dee Rees, this drama follows the intertwined lives of two families – one black, one white – in rural Mississippi during and after World War II. The song “Rise” by Andra Day, an anthem of resilience and empowerment, perfectly captures the film’s themes of race, class, and friendship.

10. “Just Mercy” (2019) – Based on the true story of Bryan Stevenson, a civil rights attorney who fights to overturn the wrongful conviction of a black man on death row, this powerful drama sheds light on the systemic injustices of the criminal justice system. The song “Stand Up for Something” by Andra Day and Common, an uplifting call to action, resonates with the film’s themes of justice, compassion, and redemption.

11. “The Long Walk Home” (1990) – Set in Montgomery, Alabama during the 1955 bus boycott, this drama follows the friendship between a white housewife and her African American maid as they navigate the racial tensions of the Jim Crow South. The song “Oh Freedom” by Odetta, a stirring folk ballad of freedom and liberation, captures the spirit of resistance and solidarity in the face of adversity.

12. “Loving” (2016) – Based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple who challenged Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws in the 1960s, this drama offers a poignant look at love, courage, and resilience. The song “This Land is Your Land” by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, a reimagining of the classic folk anthem, underscores the film’s themes of unity, equality, and justice.

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13. “Harriet” (2019) – This biographical drama tells the incredible true story of Harriet Tubman, a fearless abolitionist who escaped slavery and led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad. The song “Stand Up” by Cynthia Erivo, a powerful anthem of courage and liberation, perfectly captures the spirit of Harriet’s remarkable journey and legacy.

Common Questions:

1. What are some other films or shows like “The Help” that explore themes of empowerment and resilience?

– Some other films or shows that delve into similar themes include “Hidden Figures,” “Selma,” “The Color Purple,” and “The Butler.”

2. What are some songs that capture the spirit of empowerment and resilience in film and television?

– Some songs that capture the spirit of empowerment and resilience include “Rise Up” by Andra Day, “Glory” by John Legend and Common, and “God is Trying to Tell You Something” by Quincy Jones and His Orchestra.

3. How do these films and shows shed light on issues of race, privilege, and social change?

– These films and shows shed light on issues of race, privilege, and social change by exploring the lived experiences of marginalized communities and highlighting the resilience and strength of individuals who challenge systemic injustices.

4. What impact do these stories have on audiences and society as a whole?

– These stories have a profound impact on audiences and society as a whole by sparking conversations about social justice, empathy, and allyship, and inspiring viewers to take action towards positive change.

5. How do the songs mentioned in this article complement the themes of the films and shows?

– The songs mentioned in this article complement the themes of the films and shows by providing emotional resonance, capturing the spirit of empowerment and resilience, and underscoring the struggles and triumphs of the characters.

6. What are some other films or shows that explore the history of the Civil Rights Movement?

– Some other films or shows that explore the history of the Civil Rights Movement include “Fences,” “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” and “Mudbound.”

7. How do these stories resonate with audiences of all backgrounds?

– These stories resonate with audiences of all backgrounds by offering universal themes of resilience, empowerment, and social justice that transcend race, class, and gender.

8. What role do music and songs play in conveying the emotional depth of these stories?

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– Music and songs play a crucial role in conveying the emotional depth of these stories by evoking feelings of empathy, solidarity, and hope, and enhancing the overall impact of the narrative.

9. How do these films and shows challenge traditional narratives and stereotypes?

– These films and shows challenge traditional narratives and stereotypes by centering the experiences and perspectives of marginalized communities, highlighting the complexity and diversity of human stories, and subverting expectations of who gets to be seen and heard.

10. What lessons can audiences take away from these stories of empowerment and resilience?

– Audiences can take away lessons of courage, compassion, and resilience from these stories of empowerment and resilience, and be inspired to stand up for justice, equality, and human rights.

11. How do these films and shows contribute to the ongoing conversation about social justice and activism?

– These films and shows contribute to the ongoing conversation about social justice and activism by shedding light on historical injustices, amplifying marginalized voices, and inspiring viewers to engage in meaningful dialogue and advocacy for change.

12. What impact do these stories have on the representation of diverse voices in film and television?

– These stories have a significant impact on the representation of diverse voices in film and television by challenging stereotypes, amplifying underrepresented narratives, and advocating for greater inclusion and equity in the industry.

13. How can viewers support and uplift the stories of empowerment and resilience portrayed in these films and shows?

– Viewers can support and uplift the stories of empowerment and resilience portrayed in these films and shows by engaging with the themes and messages, amplifying the voices of marginalized creators, and advocating for greater diversity and representation in media and entertainment.

Final Thoughts:

In conclusion, shows like “The Help” offer a powerful platform for exploring themes of empowerment and resilience in the face of adversity. Through compelling storytelling, stellar performances, and poignant songs, these films and shows inspire audiences to reflect on their own values, beliefs, and actions, and to stand up for justice and equality in their communities and beyond. As we continue to celebrate and uplift diverse voices in film and television, we can all play a role in shaping a more inclusive and equitable future for storytelling in all its forms and genres. Let us embrace the power of empathy, solidarity, and hope, and work together towards a more just and compassionate world for all.