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Sunday, August 4, 2019

NikolaReviews Gives "The Best Of Enemies Two Thumbs Up"

I saw a movie the other day "The Best Of Enemies" that I've been thinking a lot about, it chipped away at my resentment due to a surgery I had and has made me see "service" in a different light. What gave this new perspective even more value was that two people Ann Atwater played by Taraji P. Henson and Claiborne Paul (CP) played by Sam Rockwell held resentments much deeper and ever present then I think I could even fathom before 2015.  Sacrifice and Service does mean something to people and can penetrate even the deepest wounds, I know it is true because I feel my stubbornness in typing this.

For the most part of my life I looked at service and volunteering as a willingness of the heart, something that's supposed to feel good, the reciprocal inner reward of being the hero to the rescue. I never thought service could come or should come from a place of resentment. I think I never really imagined it could come from any other place other than love and willingness. If my heart wasn't in it, I thought it to be appropriate to just say "NO", in efforts to be authentic and genuine.

However my perspective has changed after watching the story of Ann Atwater an African-American social and union activist/leader in North Carolina, and Claiborn Paul (CP) head of Klux Klan Clan sector come together with a force that was full of bitterness, hurt, and anger from a history of segregation, violent acts of intimidation, racism, that was currently present when they were asked to organize a "Charrette" "something no one had heard of") to determine if the schools should desegregate after a school fire. Neither wanted to or were willing to lead the "Charrette", but out of pure bitterness and hatred both were afraid to allow members with softer views to lead. Ann Atwater thought some blacks were too educated and wealthy to understand the struggle of under privileged blacks in North Carolina and for CP, he and his Klu Klux clan members were afraid to let whites lead the Charrette who identified with the black struggle.

In this movie a town divided were forced to come together,  in hopes to PROVE that they should stay apart, only to learn that there prejudices were based on falsehoods and preconceived notions that developed from "separatism." In simple terms, "basically not really knowing or understanding the other."

Threatened that the courts could make an unfavorable decision that would not go well for either the blacks or the whites of the community. The townspeople were given a chance to work together over 10 days to come to their own decision that the court system would honor.  It is during this duration that Ann and CP are forced to learn about each other, the causes of their flawed, difficult personalities, developed historical hatred, and last but not least the struggles of survival which they witness the DUPLICITY OF THEIR HUMANITY, when combating the fears of fellow peers, the economic struggle of family life for both CP as a business owner, with a disabled son, and Ann Atwater with the insufficient conditions of her people and her unrelenting leadership.

Frustrated and resistant against their own observation of humanity in  "the other", begrudgingly at different times during this movie both sacrifice and give service in a reciprocated sort of saving grace.When peoples lives and lively hoods are on the line and the spirit moves you or forces you to put aside your resentments to help a person in need a sort of magic, transformation, or God's grace can occur. It's a bitter, hard move, that hurts, but can sometimes offer you what you least expect.

Movie Review By Nikola Naylor-Warren

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