Have you been watching “Queen Sugar”? It is a thoughtful, compelling, and gorgeous TV show that evokes ecowomanist sensibilities.
“Queen Sugar” is a television drama in its second season on OWN, Oprah Winfrey’s network. It was created by celebrated filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who is also the show’s executive producer. The show has an all-female directing team and an inclusive crew. Like many of the original series on OWN, “Queen Sugar” features a predominately African-American cast, and like many other programs on the network, it delivers content intended to stir the viewer’s soul. But notably, “Queen Sugar”’s soulful messages are not mediated by the cadre of life coaches and inspirational leaders often seen on Oprah’s network. Instead, it is the fictional Bordelon family who invites us to reflect on their world and ours. The series’ three main characters, Nova, Charley, and Ralph Angel, are siblings who take over their father’s sugar cane farm in Louisiana after his death. Their narrative and the lush cinematography that captures it offers viewers the opportunity to consider the complexity, joy, and hardship of African-American characters who are rarely depicted on screen. The show’s themes and aesthetics are expressive of ecowomanist spirituality.
Continue reading ““Queen Sugar:” Must-See Ecowomanist TV by Elise M. Edwards”
Every summer in the US, movie theatres show their newest big budget films, hoping to draw in large audiences. While I appreciate an air-conditioned theatre on a hot day, I love the opportunity to go to an outdoor movie screening. These screenings are usually community-oriented opportunities for social gathering. In my previous post, I talked about Moana, a Disney film I saw at an outdoor screening earlier this summer. I enjoyed watching this movie with my friends and their families and I was delighted by the story itself. It has several religious and spiritual themes and strong female characters. Previously, I spoke of the significance of myths in this movie. Today, I’m focused on depictions of nature in Moana and their remarkable beauty.
Many feminist and womanist theologians and religion scholars have raised concerns about the interrelated dominations of women and nature, as well as the disproportionate hardships women and children are exposed to with increasing climate change and environmental degradation. Our changing environment affects all life on the planet, but it is the people who are most vulnerable (physically, economically, politically) who at most at risk. Obviously, animals and plants are endangered, too. Ethicists like me are interested in finding ways to address these concerns because we are committed the preservation of life. As feminists, there’s more to it, though. We recognize the way nature itself is often feminized (“Mother Nature”), which makes it even more troubling when it is cultivated without respect for the wellbeing of existing ecosystems and the life forces dependent upon them.
Continue reading “Mulling over Movies: Moana, Pt. 2 by Elise M. Edwards”