It’s easy for me to see white racist stereotyping in this movie, even if the book was written by a black woman. Is it a distortion imposed by Spielberg on the source material, or Alice Hoffman’s unrecognized “integration” into dominant cultural biases? Or is it my patronizing white eye distorting what the writer was trying to show me, feeling smug that even if she couldn’t see her own subjection, I could?
So, here’s the scary Daddy, cold and dark, keeping an eye his daughters — guess who’s the father of the pregnant girl?
And here’s a nice father-and-son scene. The old Daddy, a gleam on his shoes, gazes down on his shiftless drunken son, just another piece of trash littering the kitchen floor, just another farm animal. The place has gone to hell since the little woman left him, and so has he.
Here’s the jazz diva coming home to Jesus and Big Daddy the preacher, the whole juke joint parading in behind her. He’s a clean and stern and straight Daddy, but his heart melts when his girl comes up the aisle to meet him.