The Help

  • 2011
  • PG-13
  • 141min
  • 75%
  • 8.1 / 10

Skeeter Phelan is an aspiring writer who had just graduated from college and is returning to her home in Jackson, Mississippi. From her lowly job as a newspaper column writer, Skeeter jumps on the chance to publish her first book when she learns of the conditions that the black maids – the help – were subjected to from the prominently white families in their community. Her relationships with her best friends become strained as she collects stories which expose the racism underlying Jackson.

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Kathryn Stockett’s novel, The Help, is a fictional account of African Americans’ working condition in white households in Jackson Mississippi. It was loosely inspired by Stockett’s own experience of having an African American maid named Demetrie. However, the author faced ramifications when in 2011 a lawsuit was filed against her when her brother’s nanny, Ablene Cooper, filed a $75,000 lawsuit that claimed she was upset over the characterization of the black maids in the novel. She claims that despite Stockett’s assurance that Cooper’s likeness would not be used, she still saw a bold resemblance of herself in the character of Aibeleen. The lawsuit claimed further that Stockett merely used Ablene for commercial advantage.

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about the movie

The Help was a 2011 film written and directed by Tate Taylor from a 2009 Kathyrn Stockett novel. Featuring the ensemble cast of Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, Allison Janney, Jessica Chastain, and Bryce Dallas Howard, the film is about the story of how a young and white aspiring journalist wrote a book from the point of view of “the help” – colored maids in white households – during the 1963 Civil Rights Movement in Jackson, Mississippi. The Help was a box office success, earning $216 million, as well as positive reviews from critics. It has won a Screen Actos Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

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