Green Book – Movie about racism and art in the 1960’s
Green Book is a 2018 American comedy-drama film which has won an Oscar for best picture. Set in the Deep South in the 1960s, it follows a tour between African-American classical and jazz pianist Dr, Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali, who won an Oscar for his role in this movie) and Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen), an Italian-American bouncer who served as Shirley’s driver and bodyguard.
The film was named after The Negro Motorist Green book which was an annual guidebook for African-American roadtrippers, commonly referred to simply as the Green Book. African-Americans faced high levels of discrimination while travelling ranging from refusal of food and housing to arbitrary arrests, hence the book was written to prevent such things from happening in the future.
In the movie, Tony Lip gets an offer from the Dr. Don Shirley to work as his driver and bodyguard. In the beginning of their tour in the Deep South, Tony feels reluctant to change his behavior of hostility towards the Doc. But as the story expands and as his witnesses all the terrible things that African-American people have to endure from the refusal to stay in the hotels reserved for the white people to getting beaten up in bars, he starts to feel empathy. But maybe the turning point for Tony was when he first listened to Don play. Mahershala Ali did an amazing job portraying Don Shirley as a dignified musician who truly values art above anything else. One of my favorite scenes in the movie was when Don talked about how serious musicians treat their instruments with respect, and later on while playing in a local pub, he moved a glass of whiskey from the piano to demonstrate that perfectly.
If you value art and movies about evolving as human beings, this is a must-see! Without giving anything important away I will leave you now to watch the movie and hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did.