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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Strong Women

This week, I've been honored to watch and read about two amazing women: one is based on a true story, one is fictional, but is based on several lives.

Angelina Jolie plays Christine Collins in Changeling - a film based on a true story about a woman who loses her son, and fights back when the police bring her the wrong boy back. It's a powerful, infuriating, and disturbing story, but one where the strength of the female character is astonishing. The horror of mental institutions and how females were treated in general is a frightening, yet enlightening, thing to watch. This is one of those films that will stay with me for years, and I can see why it was nominated for so many awards - including nominations for Angelina Jolie who was incredible.

Aminata Diallo, in The Book of Negroes, tells her story of being kidnapped from her village in Africa and the horrors that follow in America as she becomes a slave. This story is absolutely gut-wrenching and inspiring at the same time. She suffers brutalities that no human should ever face - losing her loved ones along the way. But, she manages to find a way to rise up above it all and learns to read, write, and work her way to freedom. Lawrence Hill is an absolute master of painting the picture of Aminata's life, and he is well deserving of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for best overall book.

These two women are amazing role models for anyone - black or white; young or old; rich or poor - or anything in between. I'd highly recommend either of these for anyone looking for some insipration, or just a great story.