Sunday, February 3, 2008

Akeelah and the Bee

I had never heard of this movie, which isn’t surprising since I know little about movies; I haven’t seen one in a movie theatre since the revival of “Little Women” about a dozen years ago. But during this slow theatre time I love actually being able to stay at home at night, especially on these cold, dark winter nights. It’s fun to get a movie from the library and I got Akeelah and the Bee out last week. It’s always nice to find a treasure, and this is one.

Akeelah is a little girl who loves words, but is afraid of being laughed at if she seems too smart in her hard-luck school. Laurence Fishburne is the tutor who challenges her to succeed. Keke Palmer as Akeelah is so winning, and I don’t just mean in competition. She’s a little personality kid, so nature and believable.

One thing I found interesting was a quote that factors strongly in encouraging Akeelah. It’s hung on the wall of her tutor’s house and it come through as a voiceover when she’s facing her toughest competition. Unfortunately it’s unattributed. I love this quote, and ran it here last fall. I’m moving it up now so that if you watch the movie, you’ll know the source of those inspiring words.

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.
And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson
(quoted by Nelson Mandela in his Inaugural Address)

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