Courtesy Netflix
While up late on a Netflix watching spree, I came across a movie entitled Bedevilled. I quickly realized that in a lot of ways this movie is the Korean version of The Color Purple.

It told the story of a South Korean woman who is light-skinned/white who goes to visit her country friend who was of a darker complexion (due to working in the fields) and lives on an island off the mainland. The darker skinned friend is basically a community slave -- she works hard labor while her husband mostly shuffles around and even sleeps with prostitutes in their bedroom.

The darker skinned friend is oppressed and beaten by her husband who is one of the only men on the island. Because of his "rare" status, the older women on the island treat him like he is gold. Even when it is revealed that the husband may be having sexual relations with the young daughter, the older women of the island protect him at all costs.



Similar Themes in Black America 
While watching, I couldn't help seeing the parallel between the darker skinned friend's plight and what is going on in the black community in the United States today. First of all, it illuminates that even in South Korea light skinned/white skinned people are treated with preference and regard while the darker skinned people are mostly downtrodden and regarded as mules.

Most importantly, watching the older women "coddle" the men on their island even when they have clearly become monsters struck me.

The older "mothers" of the community (all single themselves) looked down on the dark-skinned Korean wife while constantly singing the praises of her abusive, pedophile husband. They ganged up on the wife, constantly called her a "bitch" or "whore" and told her she should be happy to have ANY man in her life. Any man to take care of her illegitimate girl-child. They were so desperate to have a man around on the isolated island that they actually made excuses for why he should be able to sleep with her seven-year-old child, and it only gets worse.

It made me wonder, do we have women like this in the black community in the United States? Women (and men) who will defend bad men no matter how depraved they become? Those who indict women and girls at every opportunity but defend and protect the negative behavior of some black men, including sexual assault, gangbanging, drug dealing and killing? Those who will not hold them responsible for taking up their roles as men/fathers while hanging the weight of the world on black women/mothers?Are there women, like the ones in this movie, who have given up on a normal happy life and now actively try to drag other young women into their same brand of misery? How can the blind lead the blind?

Les Miserables
This movie was for the most part heartbreaking and I do not recommend it for those who do not like hard life tales or gruesome tragedies. But it was also eye opening. What types of messages are some older black women really sending younger black girls? Are some black women so desperate to keep men around in their neighborhoods and homes that they would tolerate just about anything? Are they unconsciously turning the current crop of young girls into a generation of "Les Miserables," dooming them to repeat the same cycles of misery? 


* Be forewarned, while it may have some similar themes, Bedevilled certainly does not end like The Color Purple.

Movie Review by Sammi Jace
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