Parents' Guide to

A Raisin in the Sun

By Randy White, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Classic based on the Pulitzer prize-winning play.

Movie NR 1961 128 minutes
A Raisin in the Sun Poster Image

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Sidney Poitier leads a terrific ensemble. Adapted from Lorraine Hansberry's Pulitzer prize-winning stage play in which a Black family dreams of a better life, A RAISIN IN THE SUN is one of the earliest movies to feature a cast of all-Black characters. While teens may find it initially forbidding, they are sure to be swept up in the intensity of the struggle as the movie explores big moral themes. Walter and his family argue about ethically acceptable means of getting ahead in life. They argue about whether God or man is responsible for mankind's achievements. Walter's sister is on a quest for her African identity. Like everyone in the family, the sister wants much out of life -- she wants to be a doctor -- and doesn't give up, even when her own family tells her that, as a Black woman, she should settle for less. No one in this story ever gives up.

This is not the easiest movie for children to embrace. It's shot in stark black and white, and clearly shows its theatrical heritage. Set in one apartment, the highly-emotional dialogue-heavy scenes are protracted and require more concentration than most contemporary movies. If kids give it a chance, though, the story will grab them and not let go. One 11-year-old boy fidgeted at first, but eventually got caught up in the exciting tale. He loved the African drumming and dancing scene, and he definitely understood that the white "welcoming committee" was anything but. Still, preteens are a bit young; the movie will play better to teenagers.

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