Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Reaction to Winter's Bone

Here is a student reaction to a film we saw in class.
A few weeks ago, in class we watched a movie: Winter’s Bone. This movie was very eye opening and interesting to me, I never took my eyes off the screen. The movie, Winter’s Bone, encompassed many topics that we have discussed in our class; poverty, substance abuse, housing issues, and family violence, etc. I was very impressed with the number of issues in just one movie. Not only did this film relate to our class so well, but it was eye opening and filled with the anticipation of overcoming the struggles and obstacles of the poverty life.
Along with the issues that correlated with the class, there were social welfare policies that the family could have used to better their lives but they did not take advantage of these helping aids. The family could have been a part of TANF, which would have helped them to buy healthy food instead of relying on their neighbors to be generous enough to share. Since the mother was ill and unable to work, the family could have benefitted from SSI, the mother could have gotten a better medication that actually helped her. I believe where the family needed the most help was taking care of the mother. Ree was just 17 years old and she was not in school, but she was taking on the parent role and taking care of her own mother.
In the movie, Ree and her younger brother Sonny see a neighbor skinning an animal outside. Sonny said they should ask the neighbors if they would share. Ree replied with “Never ask for what oughta be offered.” This shows the audience that the family does not ask for help, but expects other to see they are suffering and help them out. It astonishes me that there are families out there like this; that need help but have too much “dignity” to ask for it. If I was in a situation like Ree’s family was I would try to get every social welfare policy that I could to help my family out. But one has to think the type of environment that family lives in; out in the country, shooting squirrels for dinner, not having a car, and having a young adult stay home to do household duties rather than go to school. Some of the families that fit into that category do not want anything to do with the government or government funded aids, it is just the way they were brought up. One cannot judge another’s family until they walk in their shoes and seen what they have gone through.
It is sad to think that there are families just like Ree’s out there that need help. These families are struggling on a day-to-day basis. This is where a social worker’s duty comes in.
 And, as her father was a drug manufacturer, cooking Crystal Meth in labs, this is exactly the sort of family that would be considered undeserving by many observers, although the father was murdered when his extended family and neighbors suspected he was cooperating with police and informing on them to reduce jail time, so perhaps this fact might have reduced prejudices against the family.  

If this family was seen by a social worker, I’m sure the family would be standoffish at first, but then realize that they are there to actually help the family and not take the children away. A good social worker would see that Ree is 17 years old, the children would be better off staying with their sister to care for them rather than be split apart. Overall, this movie was a very touching one in many aspects; family bonding and loyalty just to name a couple. I am glad I got the chance to see this movie; it opened my eyes to situations that I have never personally been in.

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