Beauty Freed (Film Thoughts: Miss Juneteenth)

mjI think ‘Miss Juneteenth’ is a perfect way to spend your time on Juneteenth. It is a wonderful story about a mother and daughter at a crossroad in both their lives, Nicole Beharie plays Turquoise Jones, a woman who won the Miss Juneteenth title from 2004. In the beginning of the film, we see her fall in not so prosperous times – she is working at a bar doing multiple shifts to keep her daughter afloat. We see her mentoring her daughter to become the next Miss Juneteenth, but Kai’s heart doesn’t seem to be in it.

Channing Giodfrey People’s film is set in a very specific world – Fort Worth, Texas – and she presents that world lovingly. We see a woman who may not be where she wants to be, and you know she means well for her daughter Kai so even her stage mothering doesn’t seem too problematic. We see the love between the two women, and somehow you know that everything will be alright for them, even if it seems like it might not be. Beharie is great as Turquioise, and we see her trapped in a dream, but not enslaved by it. I think it’s one of the best performances in this weird film year.

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