Based on a True Story: THE HELP

The Help

The film THE HELP, based on the novel by Kathryn Stockett, is coming out next month. (They’ve bumped the release date up from 8/12 to 8/10). This is a great book, and promises to be a good film as well. It may surprise you to learn that although this is a fictional work, it’s all based on true story.

What’s really interesting about this project for the true story screenwriter is that this is a work of fiction based on a true story AND it’s about a work of fiction based on a true story. In the story, the heroine is writing a book about real women, but she has to fictionalize it just enough to protect the innocent and the guilty. This storyline itself is invented, but the characters are all based on real people from the author’s childhood.

In my opinion, this is a story worth reading and seeing. It’s about people of different races and classes coming together in a spirit of unity and love. It’s about how we help each other as human beings. Cool.

Stockett discusses the intersection between her own personal journey and the work of art she created in

this Q & A

Tate Taylor (Winter’s Bone) wrote the screenplay and directs. He is a childhood friend of Stockett’s, and they were in close collaboration on the screenplay. Check out the LAT article about the politics behind the process.

What it all comes down to is that even though real life makes bad drama, our true stories can be shaped, developed, reinvented and re-imagined to create stories that move and affect others. What version of your truth will you come up with? Just imagine.

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15 Responses to “Based on a True Story: THE HELP”

  1. Lesly Kenney Says:

    Love reading your blog! Thanks so much for sharing your infinite wisdom.

  2. David S. Boozer Says:

    The Help…The Afro-American Housekeepers are props in this story. It’s not about them. It’s about a “white” American female who is curious about the plight of the housekeepers as they in place in this Mississippi “society”.

    • ckread Says:

      You make a valid point, David. Thanks for sharing your views.

    • Tina Says:

      David, I don’t agree with that assessment. It’s about a “white” young woman who had a bond with the African- American woman who raised her in conjunction with her own mother. It’s about women, black and white, having an untold story. It’s about bucking the system you are expected to function within and whose rules you are expected to follow, for what one is told is for common good, and in spite of the consequences. It’s about doing the right thing, in spite of the societal expectations in a racist Southern community of socialites and do-wells in Jackson, Mississippi. The story could not have been told without the writer, nor without the women you call “props”. It’s about conviction and taking risks for what is truly for common good.

  3. Becky Says:

    I really enjoyed this movie, it hits all emotions, Love, hate, hope, humor, fear, very well done and well balanced.

  4. DAWN Says:

    I WOULD RANK THIS MOVE AS ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES I HAVE EVER SEEN. IT IS SO HARD TO BELIEVE THAT ONE GROUP OF PEOPLE COULD TREAT ANOTHER LIKE THAT. MAYBE WE SHOULD ALL BE LIKE THE LITTLE GIRL IN THE MOVIE, SHE ONLY SEEN LOVE NOT COLOR.

  5. Mary Says:

    A wonderful movie that helps us all look at how we treat others, not only different races but how we look at those who are different from ourselves. It makes me want to stand up for what i believe in because that is what this world needs- courage- like that displayed in The Help.

  6. Moya Says:

    I really enjoyed the movie. I am quite upset it took me so long to watch it. I had no idea it was based in Mississippi. I am from Mississippi and I had no clue people treated others that way in the 60s and that says alot because I am black, my relatives should have said something about it growing up. I guess no one really talks about the past like that. I wish they would because if they did we would be less than likely to forget where we are and where we came from. This is an awesome story I encourage everyone to see it. I am going to try and get the book too.

  7. keeper Says:

    This is a tremendous movie. For those who would insist that it’s exaggerated and white folk were never like that, I think you’re not remembering basic Biblical doctrine. The human race (all of us) are depraved. Take away the vote (or political power) from an identifiable class of people within any society – it is guaranteed they will be oppressed.

  8. brian milhollan Says:

    this really makes you think and see how bad the blacks had it. I feel sorry to be white after seeing this movie. Shame on us treating people just like us but a different color so badly. Great story, I will watch this more times

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