Differing with Hanke

I get a lot of good advice about movies from Ken Hanke, but I have to say that his commentary on Queen Latifah and the whole ensemble making up the current film version of Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees [Xpress, Oct. 22] falls short of the mark. I had just seen the film the very day I read his review, and I felt sad that all my 40-, 50- and 60-year-old girlfriends might not feel encouraged to go see this delightful rendering of an unusually poignant and precious story.

C’mon, Ken! The story is told by a 14-year-old girl, and it is the 14-year-old girl in me who loves it, with all the passion and inexcusable melodrama only a teenage girl wouldn’t be too embarrassed to feel. I fear that in our sophistication and detachment from the tenderest of feelings, we will lose our ability to identify with the vulnerability and simplicity of the world as seen and felt through young eyes and hearts.

Fanning’s Lily is wholly believable, and her versions of the Boatwright sisters shouldn’t have to satisfy our in-depth, existentialist interest in each character’s personality. It’s Lily’s story, after all, so the people we meet through it can only have the characteristics that stand out to her.

I think Mr. Hanke has missed the point of view of this film. The facets of mentorship that the sisters represent make Ms. Prince-Bythewood’s rendering more of an Everywoman’s tale, told in rural, ‘60s, South Carolina lingo, but resonating a chord in the soul of every woman-to-be. I look forward to purchasing a copy of the video and keeping it around for the upcoming generations to see.

— Arjuna da Silva
Black Mountain

About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “Differing with Hanke

  1. Ken Hanke

    I appreciate the comments, but I wouldn’t say I gave the movie a negative review. After all, I ended by saying, “But all in all, Bees gets more right than wrong, making it worth a look.” In fact, I spent a good deal of the review defending the film against its detractors. It certainly was not my intention to try to dissuade anyone from seeing it.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.