I watched Akeelah and the Bee last night. A wonderful film about a young girl who dared let herself shine despite her deep fear, and despite the less-than-supportive messages she was getting from her environment – or at least the ones that rang true to her.
Funny how we can hear many things, but only pick out the words we feel ready to accept at the time – sometimes giving almost zero weight to words and people that could lift us up.
Now I have to admit that, even though I knew the film was about a little girl facing her fear and hopefully triumphing, I kind of expected to be bored by a lot of it…I mean it is about a spelling bee after all! Well, the film kept me riveted all the way through.
It has tremendous depth and heart and is wonderfully directed and acted. I loved every minute of it, despite my own occasional fear of the “sappiness factor”. It spoke to me on every level.
How easily I related to that little girl who at first couldn’t even imagine herself entering her own school’s spelling bee – much less a national bee. She worried the cool kids would laugh at her – and rightly so, because they did. Continue reading