Koch on Film

BY Ed Koch

“For Colored Girls” (+)

The film is based on the 1970’s Broadway play, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf.” Tyler Perry, who wrote and directed the movie, added a few more characters to the cast. The picture sets forth the burdens of a number of black women most of which involve men who treat them shabbily and, in some cases, viciously.

Bartender Tangie (Thandie Newton) is a promiscuous woman. Her good-girl sister, Nyla (Tessa Thompson), becomes pregnant. Their nagging mother, Alice (Whoopi Goldberg), is a cultist who sees the devil everywhere. Juanita (Loretta Devine) is a nurse who assists inner-city women in need, social worker Kelly (Kerry Washington) deals with abused children, Yasmine (Anika Noni Rose) is a dance teacher, and Jo (Janet Jackson) is a gorgeous, successful and haughty magazine editor unable to avoid misfortune. Gilda (Phylicia Rashad), who manages a Harlem apartment building in which several of the characters live, tries to assist some of the women. The one who suffers the most is Jo’s assistant, Crystal (Kimberly Elise), who lives with her alcoholic boyfriend, Beau (Michael Ealy), a war veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome. He commits an unspeakable, unbearable crime before her that will cause you to shout out loud. Every cast member is superb.

I’m sure the atrocities exhibited in the film occur in many poverty-stricken communities irrespective of race and ethnicity. Many words of wisdom are uttered in the movie by those who suffer and generally believe there is no way out, so be sure to listen carefully.

Regrettably, the show I saw was sparsely attended and there were very few whites in the audience. The movie is worthy of an overflowing audience, made up of both blacks and whites.