Many Hands Make Light Work

Forest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines from the movie preview

“Many hands make light work” are words of wisdom which I first heard Father Eli say more than 40 years ago. I saw examples of this last night watching the movie, “The Butler” with Forest Whitaker in the starring role as Cecil Gaines along with Oprah Winfrey as his wife Gloria.

The story is about a butler who served in the White House from 1952 to 1986. He apparently influenced the minds of Robert and John Kennedy to enact civil rights legislation not because he campaigned for it but because of his presence of being. His service in the White House was exemplary.

In the movie, Cecil’s older son, Louis becomes a Freedom Rider and his younger son gets killed in Vietnam. Louis’ activism gives rise to the struggle of African Americans to achieve their civil rights. This was a group effort and inpires the quote, “Many hands make light work.”

The movie also stars Vanessa Redgrave, Mariah Carey, Cuba Gooding Jr., John Cusack, Robin Williams, Lenny Kravitz, Liev Schreiber, and Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan.

Last night, I had a dream in which many people were working together to move three families around the neighborhood. When I woke up, I was reminded of the scene in the movie in which the White House staff has two hours to move the current president out of the White House and the new president in.

I think the movie is well worth watching, especially the fine acting of Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey. I think Forest Whitaker should win the academy award for best actor for this role.

I don’t think the movie will do that well because of the nature of the content. Not too many people are willing to rehash the struggle of the African Americans to achieve equality. Nor are there many who appreciate the phenomenal effort it took to end apartheid in South Africa.

I do recommend that you watch the movie and provide your feedback!

What do you think are the most important events in the movie? How did they affect you? Would you recommend the movie to your family and friends?

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