Movie Review

"Mudbound:" A Visual Depiction of Life in Post World War II America

When I think of the name Mudbound, all that comes to mind is something bound to be in mud. When I think of the movie, I think of the raw, in depth visual of what was and still is, racial discrimination in the United States of America; the stubborn forces of custom, prejudice, and power that lock people in place and impede social progress.

What once originated from a novel by Hillary Jordan, has turned into an epic shown across screens of moviegoers and Netflix streamers.

Mudbound, released in 2017 and directed by Dee Rees, follows the story of two Mississippi families– one white, one black– during the World War II  era.

This is one of the first movies I´ve seen about white supremacy, that didn´t coincide with slavery, but after that era. The grey gap in my imagination was filled with what I expected, but was never quite sure of. Mudbound did this for me.

With actresses Carey Mulligan and Mary J. Blige playing the role as women on both sides of the family, the authenticity in the characters they play is expectational. The “breadwinners” of the family, the men, both struggle financially. There is a conflict against financial requirements and an underlying racial conflict between the two families. The plot draws you in instantly, and it accurately displays vulnerable America in the brightest light. These women are just a few of the symbols that represent this time period; as well as Jim Crow laws, and of course, the KKK.

A New York Times critic, A.O Scott views the film as ¨…people, members of two families knotted together by fate, hate and economics, are complicated. The wounds are raw.¨ The connection between the two families lies among those single factors, intentionally or not, those were the cards dealt. Another significant tie is the need to provide for the family, on both sides. Evidently the two families are completely different, but the urge to make sure everyone is happy, is what’s most important.

Another critic, Peter Debruge, from Variety says  “Mudbound” is a hymn to what we all share — the human struggle, the mutual desire to succeed and create a better world for our children — and it is a damning indictment of those who stand in the way of such progress.´´

Debruge is correct as far as the ´human struggle´ but fails to differentiate that struggle, and thatś where I would begin to dissipate.

Overall, students should watch this film to educate themselves about what life was like during this era because it provides a meticulous visual and realistic connotation between whites and blacks.

I give the movie a 9/10, that last point is lost based on the ending, which Iĺl let you find out for yourself…