Hidden Figures Dives Into a World of Workplace Discrimination

hidden-figures-dives-into-a-world-of-workplace-discriminationTheodore Melfi portrays the hardships faced by African American women in the 1960s

Lilyana Garcia

Staff Writer

    “Hidden Figures,” a film directed by Theodore Melfi, is based on a true story that took place during the Cold War back in the 1960s. The movie was released on January 6, 2017.

    A film that captivates you and the rest of the audience, taking you back to review decades of discrimination and the way that people protest against it. A two-hour sitting that you wouldn’t expect had you not read the description beforehand. The story is based on the life of three African-American women who worked at NASA as “computers,” or female engineers who were hired to assist in calculations and in operating larger computers. During this time there still existed a difference in equality with Martin Luther King Jr. trying to make a change in racial equality throughout the states. These three women were Katherine G. Johnson (Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer), and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe), each skilled and in charge of their separate responsibilities –  one of which was to assure that the first astronaut to ever touch the stars, John Glenn, came back safely from his mission. This is a story of how those three women inspire and influence others to see and understand that even African-American women are capable of doing things that even the most intelligent men and women cannot.

    This film brings people together and reveals to them something not many people have the chance to witness with their own eyes. It brings the past and present diversity that lingers between discrimination all over the world by focusing on the roles that people were expected to take simply because of the color of their skin. Each passing scene was laced with emotion, which is ultimately why I enjoyed every second of the film. It felt as though whatever the characters were feeling reflected back to me in the audience, making me feel as if I was present in that moment of the film, as well. Listening to the wonderful sounds in the exceptional choices of music from Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys, and Lalah Hathaway, just to name a few artists, sets everything else into motion. The music itself helps to set the mood in both the movie and the audience. Looking back on the performance, I distinctly remember a few of the other people sitting around me, laughing because of the music. Something in the lyrics of each song just seemed to make the movie more enjoyable and amusing when put together with the actions and events taking place during that part of the film.

    Some may probably point out the fact that many of the other characters introduced in the beginning of the film didn’t get quite enough screen time or  weren’t described as thoroughly as they could have been. Though they make a valid point, the film itself was focused on the “Hidden Figures” of NASA who were never given the amount of credit that they deserved. Everyone in the world outside of the space station simply assumed that it was “someone at NASA” who impressed everyone, without ever clearly stating “who.” No one ever specified clearly who the individuals were or if it was even more than one person who succeeded in keeping an astronaut from falling perilously to the Earth.

    Taraji P. Henson and Theodore Melfi gave us a story we could understand and enjoy by unraveling secret events that only few people actually knew about – people that many children to this day never would have known existed if this story hadn’t been told through a book and motioned into a movie. The whole cast helped out in that aspect by bringing this story to life with their dramatic expertise. Rainbow Rowell, a credible and relevant author, even commented on Twitter about how she recommended “anyone going to watch this movie to bring their mothers along with them.” Overall, this film is definitely a must-see as well as one that no individual should ever regret watching.
Rating: 5/5

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