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Parents' Guide to

The Long Walk Home

By Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Moving Civil Rights story heavy on "N" word but uplifting.

Movie PG 1991 98 minutes
The Long Walk Home Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Lesson learning but contains swearing and violence

Perfect to show the history and they did a great job to act it out. Was a beautiful but sad story. Definitely take your teens to watch it.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much swearing

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

THE LONG WALK HOME is a powerful movie. Not just because Spacek and Goldberg give excellent performances, but because it focuses directly on the relationships at the heart of the Civil Rights movement, personalizing the way we think of issues like basic respect, dignity, or the freedom to patronize any business, park, or seat of your choosing. Here we see those tensions play out between an affluent housewife and her maid, and rather than paint that relationship in the broad strokes of a white hero who comes around to save the day, both Miriam and Odessa are shown as having something to lose at this critical moment, and both of them have to learn to trust each other enough to understand the other's point of view. We see both families' experiences side by side, and see the issue of racial tension set against that of women's struggle for their own autonomy.

There are some elements that make for uneasy viewing -- frequent use of the "N" word, harsh and intimidating scenes of racial hatred, and some realistic violence. But for mature tweens or teens ready for a more nuanced look at what it was like to live through this era, and ponder some of the distasteful moral justifications used then for maintaining the status quo, it will be educational and illuminating. Parents will want to stick around for questions and discussions, especially with kids for whom this is the first exploration of the issue.

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