SARATOGA SPRINGS–Saratoga Jewish Community Arts will host its next program in its social justice series, a panel discussion of “Mudbound,” a Netflix film by Dee Rees on Tuesday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. The program has been arranged in conjunction with Temple Sinai.
The film follows two World War II veterans and their families, one black, one white, living on a farm in Mississippi. According to organizers, the film is an old-fashioned type epic drama about race relations in the 1940s Deep South, adapted from a 2008 novel by Hillary Jordan.
According to organizers, “Mudbound” is all about perception — how it can foster empathy and engender contempt, sometimes in the same person. Viewers may question: How one man may look at his land with life affirming pride and another man see the same plot as the kiss of death and how an act of wartime courage involving a red-tailed plane and a dark-skinned pilot can forever alter one’s opinion of a different race.
The film touches on the evil of the Jim Crow era, the oft-ignored post-traumatic stress suffered by service members returning from war, and the stifling sexism of the time.
Both families in the film see a member serving their country during wartime, one returning with PTSD and the other enduring racist hatred despite his tour of duty.
“This story, which unfortunately as a film, has not had wider distribution, hits even stronger,” said Phyllis Wang, coordinator of Saratoga Jewish Community Arts, “when one examines what is happening in today’s era. There should be no place for racism, whether it is targeting blacks, browns, Hispanic, Asians, Jews, or others in 2021.”