Sunday, March 30, 2014

Movie #2 :The Grapes of Wrath (John Ford)

The Grapes of Wrath is a classic movie (1940) directed by John Ford and based on Steinbeck's novel.

The story is almost the same than in the book. Tom Joad, a released prisoner, comes back home to find an empty house. Soon, he learns that all the surroundings-farmers have been forced to leave their home and that most of them are on their way to California, where they hope to find work and food.
Tom found his family and they decided to take their chance together in California. The way to California is harsh : they have to spare food, they're tired and this long journey on Mother road looks like the Jewish exile in desert. They even lost there their grand-father and then their grand mother, too tired or too sick or maybe just too old. But they stay happy, because of the promise of a better life in California.
Arrived there, they just find a huge deception : there is no work, just great poverty. They're not even treated as humans, but they're exploited by the lands owners and park into camps like animals. Furthermore, everyone is starving and never sure of the future, so nobody dares to complain.

The story is very moving, so it's hard not to feel concerned by it. It takes place 80 years ago, but you feel every moment like if it was today. Moreover, the actors are really great and especially those who play Muley (John Qualen) and the migrant returning (I don't know his name). They were so good that I had the feeling they really experienced this tragedy !

To be honest, I had no idea that the Great Depression had been so hard in the US. Because in France, we always see America as a very rich country. If you ask my grand-mother, she will tell you she remembers the healthy soldiers, the hands full of candy ! So very far away from all those migrants from Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas ! The discovery of those hard and courageous lives probably makes like this movie more than I would have otherwise. But even without the shock, it remains a very good movie !

After seeing this movie, I wanted to learn more on the subject and I found a video. It's about the Dust Bowl which leads to the Okie (and Arkie, etc...) migration. This climatic disaster has been mainly responsible of the great famine and the documentary is quite interesting.

Improved Bechdel Test : DA (1/5) (Pour comprendre ce label, cliquez ici)

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