American Social History
October 21, 2010
Rosewood Journal Entry
I feel that Rosewood is one of the most piercing movies of our time. Why? The film does not hold back on the violence and racism displayed by the white men of Sumner. The tension that I felt within the theatrical sequences such as the lynching mob scenes and the fleeing children scenes are master classes in filmmaking. Studying film in two other classes, I realized that some of the most penetrating scenes were done rather simplistically. For example, the shot of the empty church with the Negro spirituals in the background makes a blandish scene more emotional.
Another scene that is crafted in a more complex manner is the death scene of Aunt Sarah Carrier. What makes this scene so heart – wrenching is not only the fact that Aunt Sarah is respected by many of the characters and the audience, but the way that she died. Personally I highly value the way that she died because deep inside I felt that she knew that she was not coming back when she was going to face the mob. Why? The stress built up from the way that she slowly walked outside foreshadows a climax. And even though the viewer is to only hear the Aunt Sarah get shot and later her dead body, it is the words spoken that haunts the rest of the movie. “Boys, I know y'all. I was midwife to more than half of you … and some of your young ones. I done seen you come up from babies to now. Ain't nothing going to come of this. It don't make sense. My Sylvester ain't had nothing to do with this mess. Y’all know that boy was white!” Even though the audience does not see the bullet hit Aunt Sarah, it only makes the audience feel more mortified.
After watching the movie, I knew I needed to learn about the real Rosewood massacre. And was all of this true? Or were part of these scenes fictionalized? In retrospect, the film seemed more melodramatic and terrifying because there were more deaths in the film than necessary. The film did capture the...