Yes, seeing representation of women in science is still groundbreaking and it has to be normalized.
Let alone the fantastic performances by Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe and Octavia Spencer (which is already a great reason why to do it). I was also easily able to -with Mini’s help- find ten more reasons you should share some quality time to watch this movie with your children.
It is based on a true story, rated PG. Real-life experiences of racism and sexism are usually framed in a way that is not suitable for children to watch. These real facts that show race and gender related struggles are pivotal to the story. And, they are shown in a way that children can perceive and reflect upon. Making them realize how easily, even to this date, we easily accept sexist and racist behavior.
It shows that great minds think alike… But they can also keep their individuality. Each one of this science-wrapped women have their own personality, values and specific strengths and flaws. Even while sharing a lovely friendship, a common goal and a sense of community, their respective personalities shine all the way through.
Speaking of, there is a reason why friendships and community ties makes us stronger. Nowadays our children are witnessing two different versions of our society: One that is fiercely divided and another one where we are #strongertogether. This movie reminds us how important it is to have face-to-face interaction with different people in our communities, and shows how much can be accomplished when we are willing to support each other.
It underlines the importance of being as good as you can and to always keep learning. Without a doubt, the three main characters in the movie are smarter than the average person. But neither of them was born knowing everything and they all had to stand up to the challenge when it was obvious that talent alone couldn’t do it. Specially notorious were the cases of Dorothy Vaughan; who taught herself how to code, and Mary Jackson; who became an engineer by taking advanced night-classes in an all-white school, thus becoming NASA’s first black female engineer. Yes, it is extremely valuable to show our kids that even extremely smart people have to learn, and must always keep doing so, in order to accomplish more and more elevated goals.
Makes the audience wonder how biased or prejudiced we have all been without noticing it. Without giving any spoilers, it was interesting for me to see how Mrs. Vivan Mitchell -a white woman portrayed by Kirsten Dunst- calls Octavia Spencer’s character by her first name; Dorothy, instead of Mrs. Vaughan. Even though Dorothy calls her Mrs. Mitchell all the time. It might seem to be something silly and unintentional, but you can draw attention to the fact that sometimes comments, jokes, or even the way you refer to another person generates micro aggressive attitudes, such as condescendence.
It makes it clear that having privileges can make you blind and deaf to the needs of others. It is ironic and overly tragic that nowadays there are persons still fighting for their right to use whatever washroom they feel more comfortable in. Yes, we should still acknowledge our privilege on something as trivial as being able to use an specific restroom.
Also, it shows how seemingly small changes and adjustments can make the life of others more fair. Although in the movie they altered how the toilette issue was addressed, it becomes a great vehicle to make the audience realize how simple adjustments can make a hugely positive difference in the day-to-day life of someone, while also changing retrograde mentalities. Same thing when it comes to partnerships and married life.
The costumes are fantastic. All of the main characters clothes are simple, stylish and feminine, while they also help telling the story. It is good to remember that not all fashion in the 60’s looked like “Grease”.
The historical facts will make your kids notice how many tries are needed to accomplish great things. By definition, NASA’s missions are one of those endeavors that are never undertaken “lightly” in any way, given their intrinsic cost of resources, money and maybe even human lives. But those missions have undeniably resulted in some of humanities’ greatest feats. As if that was not enough, they help generations after generations imagine and strive for greatness, as well as realize what it takes to achieve true transcendence. This movie will show you and your kids how many calculations, debates and attempts it took to accomplish every small step of the massively challenging space race.
This movie opens a path for reflection and deep talks with your children. Of course you can talk about values and life lessons while watching a good kid’s movie with your children, but never underestimate the power of a well told story about real people dealing with real problems when it comes to opening their minds and hearts. For my 9 Y.O. daughter and I, our conversation after watching Hidden Figures led us to discuss how many times most people can say insensitive remarks about skin color, beliefs or gender. I had the opportunity to be the one to ask her questions about what we saw and in return I got to know her more in the way she feels and understands the world. And I could see her learning from some of the greatest minds that are finally being represented in our pop culture.