Welcome back to another segment of Movie Night Friday. Where I present some of my favorite movies and why I love them.
Today I would like to discuss Soul Food, one of my favorite movies.
Soul Food is a movie about one family and their ability to stay a family through their willingness to endure all of the trial and tribulations that befall them. Told from the perspective of 11-year-old Ahmad, the Chicago family creates a bond around the Sunday “Soul Food” dinners they have every Sunday. Documented to have been coined in 1964 when blacks exercised self-awareness concerning themselves and “Soul” and “Black Power” got popular, there are a lot of misconceptions concerning Soul Food. The assumption is that the essential ingredient is pork and that deep-fat frying is its ultimate technique. It is assumed that the food must be dangerously unhealthy (I have to agree with Huey on the Boondocks. How they gonna go back to eating the same food that gave Big Mama diabetes tho) and is even mentioned in the movie that because we didn’t have anything else to eat in slavery we made meals of whatever we were given and that this is soul food. While it is true that blacks during slavery had little to nothing to eat, Soul Food got its name, not necessarily because of slavery, but because of how it brought black families and communities together which predates the institution of chattel slavery. African Americans have always been a communal people and food has always been an art form. Even if it wasn’t called Soul Food specifically, “Soul Food” is a tradition that go back for centuries.
I still remember when I watched this for the first time back in ’97 or ’98 and it was the ideal family I imagined we have all wanted and if we had, something that we have all cherished. However, it is always easy to be there for one another during the good times, but what about when tragedy strikes? Multiple tragedies?
Can the Joseph family endure the ultimate challenge of betrayal, hurt, and Big Mama’s failing health? Does a family, who is knit together seemingly through the strength of one person, have what it takes to stay once that person is gone?
As is obvious, this became my favorite because of the family bond and the unity of love they had for one another. I wouldn’t say that I watch it over and over again or anything, but it is a good throwback classic.
Is Soul Food among one of your favs? Why do you love it?