The But­ler saw it all

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODMOVIES -

WASH­ING­TON: A few days af­ter Barack Obama was elected pres­i­dent in 2008, The Wash­ing­ton Post pub­lished an ar­ti­cle about a black but­ler who served in the White House for 34 years, un­der eight pres­i­dents, from Tru­man to Rea­gan.

Eugene Allen rep­re­sented, as jour­nal­ist Wil Hay­good wrote, “a story from the back pages of his­tory. A fig­ure in the tini­est of print. The man in the kitchen”.

“He was there,” Hay­good con­tin­ued, “while Amer­ica’s racial his­tory was be­ing re­made: Brown v Board of Ed­u­ca­tion, the Lit­tle Rock school cri­sis, the 1963 March on Wash­ing­ton, the cities burn­ing, the civil rights bills, the as­sas­si­na­tions.”

Allen un­doubt­edly lived a fas­ci­nat­ing life, meet­ing count­less his­tor­i­cal fig­ures dur­ing es­pe­cially po­lar­is­ing times, and it’s not sur­pris­ing that Hay­good’s pro­file caught the eye of Hol­ly­wood.

It is now the ba­sis for Lee Daniels’ The But­ler (the di­rec­tor’s name is in­cluded thanks to silly copy­right claims).

The But­ler is just over two hours long, spans sev­eral decades, and in­cludes mul­ti­ple sto­ry­lines. It’s fair to say it has epic am­bi­tions. – Wash­ing­ton Post

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