I honestly don’t know how anyone could watch Miss Juneteenth
and not like it.
The movie is sweet, subtle, and honest.
The three major themes of motherhood, history, and love are so gracefully represented in Miss Juneteenth
, solidifying the important messages and characterization as broken down below.
Turquoise and Kai are good and relatable. Their relationship is the most realistic and loving I have seen in film in a long time. There are seemingly harsh rules, boundaries crossed, embarrassment, and disappointment in this parent-child duo, but there is still so much love. They hold each other, kiss, laugh together and protect each other. Films tend to display parental relationships as either distant and cold, abusive, blurring into more of a friendship, competitive, or burdensome. Peoples has written a fresh, but still accurate, mother-daughter relationship. A mother who wants her daughter to do better than she has done; pushes her daughter, but not too hard, doesn’t ignore her daughter’s sense of self, wants to protect her daughter, and wants her to feel loved. They fight, some trust is broken, but they work on it and show their love and support for one another in every shared scene.
The viewer can infer that the reason behind Turquoise’s fall from grace in the community was because of the pregnancy, but Turquoise never says it and is defensive when anyone implies it. Turquoise is just doing what mothers should do: putting her family first, leading Kai in the right direction, and admitting her own mistakes without shame.
This film does not pit its Black characters against White characters (there is only one White character in the film). The only direct mention of race is the criticism of the White establishment. However,