Al Miller REL 251 June 25, 2010 This movie is very eye opening. I vaguely recall reading about this event in high school. I feel like the film did a great job at humanizing the little girls and their families. Instead of just thinking about the tragedy in a kind of abstract way, it allows you to relate to what happened in a much more visceral way. It’s amazing how different the country was back then. It is a very moving film and it’s difficult not to be moved emotionally by the tragedy and senselessness of it all.
It is just as vivid to the all the friends and relatives of the four little girls, as if it happened yesterday. As I stated, the film is very intense and moving because the memories of the people involved are still quite vivid. One scene that stood out to me was when one of the mothers’ stated that she doesn’t harbor any hate. She used to but has kind of resigned herself to the fact that that it wouldn’t do any good at this point. Nevertheless, she admits that it’s something that she has to work on daily through her belief in God.
Of course, it makes us wonder if we would be able to somehow handle it as well as she has. This movie also gave out a great deal of information about the Civil Rights struggle in Birmingham. It did a wonderful job of laying out the facts and and events leading up to the church bombing. Unfortunately, it took their deaths to act as the wakeup call to America concerning the racism and Civil Rights movement in the south. The scenes with George Wallace are outrageous, considering that his segregationist policies, in a way, led to the deaths of the girls.
The scene where he introduces a black man that he doesn’t even know, as his “best friend” in a lame attempt at repentance, is pitiful in how pathetic he seems to be in trying to clean up his image, after the fact. I feel like this was an important piece of history that should never be forgotten, not only so that we know where we once were, as a nation, but what we must avoid in the future. It also makes you realize just how many people, over time, have had to act as sacrificial lambs, in order to secure the rights and freedoms that we enjoy today.