Yesterday I watched the flick “Fried Green Tomatoes” (1991). I thought I had never seen it before but it seemed strangely familar as I watched it.
“In this adaptation of Fanny Flagg’s novel, flashbacks reveal the remarkable and mysterious story of soul mates Idgie (Mary Stuart Masterson) and Ruth Jamison (Mary-Louise Parker), whose antics cause an uproar in their rural Southern town during the 1920s. Feisty Ninny Threadgoode (Jessica Tandy) tells the tale to a repressed Alabama housewife (Netflix)
While there is defintely a sense of “girl-power” throughout this movie, there is a very powerful underlying message about the evil of racism. Actually, a lot of “isms” are turned upside down in this movie. Interestingly, the style reminded me a lot of Jesus’ parables, where you think one thing is going to happen and your expectations are totally turned upside down as Jesus seeks to communicate a deeper message.
For example, a scene early on has Ruth trying to get to know Idgie by going with her to the train yard, hopping on a train car and rifling through the skids of food. Prim and proper Ruth is agast as the train begins to move and Idgie starts hurling cans of food, boxes, ears of corn and other food items through the open door. “That food isn’t yours to take,” Ruth says indignantly (or some other words to that effect). Idgie keeps tossing out food and then Ruth sees what is going on. The train had been passing through a very poor area of town with people living in tents and huts. People are shouting, “Someone’s throwing food from the train!” and adults and children start running along the slow moving train. It dawns on Ruth that Idgie is giving the food to the poor. It is her concern for and connection with (she looks into the eyes of the children looking up at her, hoping for food) the people that moves Ruth to join Idgie in taking the food (i.e., stealing, something Ruth probably had never done) and giving to the people who were in terrible need of it.
In this brief scene, one sees a turning upside down of expectations and a conversion of heart — in Ruth certainly, but perhaps in the viewer as well.
Have you had a “parable moment” recently … something happen that turned your expectations upside down and revealed a deeper message?
DJC November 5, 2007 at 11:16 am
I found your post interesting, I was just thinking about that movie, and the relationship between the older woman (Jessica Tandy) and Kathy Bates. And how some friendships help us grow, and we should never let age stop us from getting to know someone. We all have different life experiences that are wonderful lessons to learn and share.
Elizabeth November 5, 2007 at 6:17 pm
LOL… wow… yeah… my whole life is a parable right now… or better said, a opportunity to trust in faith… Our landlords are acting illegally and without integrity (which are two different things – as evidenced above) and our standing for our rights right up to an eviction notice is just the start of this last couple of weeks, but through all the stress, I have (mostly) been able to stand up and look at the difference between where I was and where I am. I am also being able to show my co-workers that faith gives me comfort and strength even when it looks dark and impossible and scary. I know that all will be fine, because it’s always fine. The parable? that the Path is dark and stormy but that, really, it just makes one appreciate that there is still shelter from the storm. Not just literally, but figuratively as well.
Holly November 6, 2007 at 1:19 pm
I remember watching Fried Green Tomatoes — a couple of times at least. And I remember that scene as a conversion moment. But I never would have thought about it in the sense of one of Jesus’ parables. How nice to find such gems in our everyday culture and use them to teach, Julie.