Jun 11, 2019 in Review

The Long Walk Home

Music enables the audience to a film to have the ability to comment and get in flow with the mood that is set to be portrayed and advanced in the film. The genre of the music used in a film helps in bringing out the desirable effect that the producers to a film look forward to bringing out. In many films, music acts as the introduction thus setting the stage for the audience to acclimatize to the mood and the likely theme that the movie intends to create. The film The long walk home documents the status of racial segregation that was evident in the American society (Amina, 2014). The message and scenes of the film are laced with music. The music serves an intended purpose in the film. This paper intends to discuss the link that the film has with Africa and the use of music in the film to bring out the general theme of discrimination in the film. 

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The final part of the film seeks to bring out the overall theme of the film. The scene takes place in a parking lot (Amina, 2014). In the scene, there are two distinct things that take place in the scene. First, women are observed to be singing and second, men are chanting. The last plot has two main angles for analysis. First, the different roles that men and women play in the film have a direct link with the African continent. In the African culture, women and men have desolate differences in relation to the responsibilities that they have to take part in in the society. In the African culture, during dull moments, men and women have different roles of pouring out their emotions. Men pour out their deep emotions by chanting while women pour out their inner emotions by having to sing. The song that is sung in the final scene of the movie depicts the somber mood that the scene of the movie brings out. In the scene, the music genre that is played and the message that is in the singing of the typescript have a direct relationship on the analysis set to be done (Amina, 2014). The chanting of the war seems to be a charge of the factions who want to get into war to start a fight. The women in the scene on the other hand are singing hymns to depict the difficult situation that they are through. The unique thing in the scene is also evident in the color of the persons who are singing and those who are chanting. The men who are chanting in the scene are mainly male while the women who are singing are mainly crying. African is known to be a continent that is discriminated by the white dominated continent owing to the wide array of issue that the African continent is going through. Second, the crying of the women while singing the hymns is meant to bring out the meek nature of the African continent. African is known to play a secondary role to the first class countries and states that are mainly dominated by the elite white race (Amina, 2014). While in the chanting of the males, mainly white, there is a face of confidence that is portrayed that seems not to be in tandem with the face of the women singing, mainly blacks. The black women, who are singing, therefore, symbolize the secondary status of the African continent. 

The heroin role that the main character in the film has to play also serves to bring out the link of the film with the African continent. The heroin, Miriam, is split between two conflicting options in the film (Amina, 2014). She has to either choose to be an arbitrator in the issues that are affecting the African continent. Alternatively, Miriam has to play the role of ensuring that she sees from a distant as the African people fight to get their rights. What is evident from the state of limbo that Miriam finds herself is that the African populace has a wide array of issues that riddle them thus presenting the need for the continent to seek for solution that can help her to solve or sought out the problems that she is going through (Amina, 2014). The problems that Africa is going through the eyes of the heroin of the film are alternatives that the white people have. In the African continent, there are constituent issues of governance and self rule. Africa, since acquiring a full independence status across all the states in Africa has often used war as an alternative to settling scores that Africa has with itself. The settling of the scores, often is done when the elite class watch from a distant while the poor people fight to have the resources that they to be allocated unto them. The mirroring of the heroin being a white person, therefore, presents the extent of discrimination that can is widely entrenched in the African continent. From the perspective of the heroin, Africa is yet to come to terms with herself that she can manage a self rule and better the lives of her people without having to go to war with herself. 

The film furthermore, seeks to bring to light the progress that has been and can be made in the civil rights movement. From the analysis of the film, the opportunity of bringing down discrimination within a society and unifying the state is to bring together the warring factions. The meek in the society need to be given the chance to unify the entire populace. The two main female characters in the film seek to bring out the theme of civil rights movement in the film. The two women, Miriam and Odessa, white and black respectively, are working together besides having stark differences with regard to their roles as women in their respective cultures (Amina, 2014). 

The role that the two women play in the film has a direct link to the state of affairs in the African continents. The two women act as the protagonist to seek to bring in change and sanity in the management of the state of affirms within the African continents. Civil society movement in the African continent needs to work together in collaboration to build stronger institutions within the African continent. There are desirables within the African continent that needs to be addressed to root out the injustices that manifest in the society. The injustices in re society can be weeded out by ensuring that there is unity in the society. Unity in the society can only be brought about when conflicting cultures work together to arbitrate the long term issues that are facing them. Second, the story and depiction of Miriam and Odessa in the film seems to link the film with Africa in the context of the divergent cultures that one is able to find in the African continent (Amina, 2014). Though Africa has diverse cultures, there is an inter culture aspect of segregation that ensures that the cultures with the highest population representation take control of the resources at the expense of the minority few. As such, the film is a true reflection of the modern state of affairs within the African continent.

The type of music that is also used in the film draws the moods and the attitude that many people have on the African continent. The hymn of “pass me not my gentle savior” is used in the film to create a somber mood to the target audience of the film (Amina, 2014). Many continents in the world feel sorry for the African continent. The African continent is not at ease with her owing to the wide range of challenges that the continent is facing. The hymnal is a quest that is often used to show case on why the savior or redeemer needs to have an opportunity to redeem the African continent. The redeemer, based on the view of many African states is the western states thus the symbolism of the heroin of the film being a white person (Amina, 2014). 

The analysis of the film, therefore, can only be undertaken in the context of viewing the movie. The drawing of the wide arrays of issues that Africa is going through and the use of the film to mirror the true state of affairs within the African continent is an objective that is widely achieved in the movie. The film links to Africa as a continent that is in war with herself with the protagonist likely to be the white people who, ironically, chant for the war in the African continent to escalate. Concisely, to make a link with the American continent, the film presents a scenario where the white people still have dominance of the black people thus racial segregation. The film further presents the Africans as the lovers of war and criers as is the case in the last scene of the film. 

The movie under review and analysis is The Long Walk Home, acted in 1955 as directed by Richard Pearce. The movie begins with a slow soothing music that introduce a situation of a quite atmosphere as the environment is very much quite. Minutes later, a soundtrack of a bus is heard and the bus approaches from a bend and comes to a halt. Three black women dressed in white dresses aboard the bus one by one at the front door and it is absurd that they immediately alight again one by one and then aboard the bus again this second time using the behind bus door. The bus the drives off and inside the bus, it is very surprising that all the blacks are made to sit at the back of the bus forced to squeeze to fit the limited space at the back. Among the three women in white dresses is Odessa (Hoopi Goldberg) who is going to work.She stands inside the bus while there are empty seats at the front yet those seats look like they are preserved for some individuals. This the first incident in the movie in which racial discrimination in the 1990S is depicted (Faulder, 2007).

The following scene is a house setting showing Odessa at her work place which is in Miriam Thompson’s house where she works as a maid. Miriam (Sissy Spacek) is seen to be interested in doing her normal house chores in the morning but because she has to report to work at early hours she needs a nanny to help her manage her children and take care of them when both she and her husband Norman Thompson (Dwight Schultz) have left and need to be at work. They all have a break first together after which the Miriam and Norman leave for work while Odessa and the children set off to go to the park.

In the park, there is a serene environment that is backed with very melodious sounds of birds that are only interrupted by the noisy sounds made by the children at the park while they play. A white policeman on awhite motorbike approaches and suddenly sees a black woman in the park. He makes it clear to Odessa that the park is white owned and she has no business being in the park. He calls her names such as nigger and demands that she should be responding to her as a sir while he speaks. He then tells her to park all that she had set at the table and demands that she leaves the park immediately (Faulder, 2007). This is another situation in which racial segregation back in the time before civilization is witnessed. It is clearly revealed that recreational facilities or amenities only were distinct and majorly were reserved for the whites. Odessa reports this incident to Miriam who realizes that she kind of came back sooner than expected. Miriam Thompson seemed to have had some connection to the police security department where she uses her power to demand that the policeman apologizes to Odessa in front of her children in order to show them that she deserved some respect because she was not at the park by her wish but had to take the children to the park as had been sent to.

The following scene is a house party in which many whites are present and there are no blacks at all in the party except Odessa who has helped prepare food for them and is present only to serve them depicting another moment of black discrimination such that get together parties for whites only demand the white presence. During the party, Miriam and her husband Norman discusses the incident at the park. Odessa overhears the conversation in which one of the attendants considers it wrong that the police had been forced to apologise to the Odessa in front of the children. He says a nigger like her does not deserve any apologies. On the other hand, Miriam strongly disagrees with them by remaining in support of her earlier decision. She stands her grounds and tells them she grew up knowing how do differentiate right from wrong and that the policeman was wrong in sending away Odessa from the park after even abusing her and calling her all sought of names. She tells them she was not at the park by wish but instead had taken their children out to play (Faulder, 2007).

Odessa goes back home and while at home preparing dinner for her family, two of her children come running home with a note reading that it was the second time in the day that the second woman was arrested for refusing to leave a bus seat for a white. The news quickly spread and all the blacks declared not to go for work using the bus and instead everyone would consider walking on foot to wherever they had to go to. The next day the bus passes very early and all the seats are empty (Faulder, 2007). This is one of the major remarkable scenes that forms a historical background and is remembered as the Bus Boycott that took place in 1956 at Montgomery, Alabama which was a major civil rights movement of the time. Odessa then calls Miriam to inform her that she was going to be late that Monday.Miriam realizing how much she is an asset that she needs on a Monday, she goes for her by her car where they agree to meet along the way.

The day ends and Odessa comes back on foot having finished her day work tired that she even loses the appetite for food, her feet are sore from the long and this becomes a routine for her since the purpose of the Bus boycott ha to be realized. The effect of this walk, work and back to get her family duties done exhausts her that she dozes off while doing the dishes in the kitchen.Therefore, she proves herself to be a strong woman ready to stand for herself, be true to her decisions and live by the consequences. When the black community decided that enough was enough and that it was high time they walked in dignity than in shame, Odessa, and her husband both had to make a decision that was to cut deep in affecting their children and at the same time was going to be much effective to their employer (Faulder, 2007).

The friendly nature of the two main women characters in the movie is thus realized to be mutual. Miriam needs Odessa to help her in completing her house chose so that she can manage to have time to report to her work and at the same time remain close to her children. As a mother, she remains caring to her children and participates in helping to prepare them food even though Odessa who is employed should be to the task. She is friendly to Odessa in that she volunteers to carry her daily in the evenings to her home and sometimes in the morning halfway to report to her work. She defends her when the police harass her and later forces the police to apologise for her (Faulder, 2007).. On the other hand, Odessa values and respects their relationship that even the children of Miriam have grown fond of her. She sees it best to inform her of the times that she has to report late for having to walk on her foot during the strike. She is also very much protective of Miriam, she warns her of the place where the boycotters are picked and discharges and that there is a line that is she crosses, then she would never be seen again by her family. In relation to her family care, she really loves her family and works her ways out through all means to ensure that she manages to support them. She has to make the sacrifice of not being close to them in order to work so that she can be able to meet their wants. She loves her husband too that they all go to church for spiritual guidance and prayers (Faulder, 2007).


The movie is very much educative and presents varying scenarios in life that individual have to face, could face and thus have to be prepared for. From racial discrimination, civilization and then finally to individual freedom. The movie further depicts and reveals that individual freedom is not born of peace but of sacrifices that people have to make. As such, the sacrifices involve decisions that have to be made and remained true to. It implies that individuals fighting for a given course must anticipate consequences that they do not know their magnitude of effect in the event that the choices are made. Hence, freedom and self-liberation only come when individuals accept to live by the decisions and consequences made in regards to the protection of one’s dignity and respect that commands breath of fresh air wherever you go.


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