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Mar 9, 2004

The Grapes of Wrath

Released in 1940, I saw this film in 2004, 64 years - after almost a lifetime in man years. The movie is one of the gems of American cinema, stars and stripes to the core. From now on whenever I think of the history of United States of America, Tom Joad and the Joad family is going to figure in my thought train as migrants within an land built by migrants. Going to California, is for many Americans like how moving to United Staes is to the rest of the world. Moving to the land of opportunity, moving to a place where you may not be welcome always but where you would still try your level best to blend in and build a new life because it is the land of the milk and honey - as it might have appeared to the poor migrant farmers from the Dust Bowl states.

Henry Fonda as Tom Joad and Jane Darwell as Ma Joad have given outstanding performances. John Ford's direction is also worth mentioning. The Grapes of Wrath is an enduring saga of human survival in some of the worst conditions in the very heart of America - the land of plenty. It is like reading a log book of those times of depression, of what people underwent, what people undergo, even now. That is what attracted me to The Grapes of Wrath, that human suffering perpetrates time, somewhere in the world, Dust Bowl migration is happening right now. If you are humane enough you can see the common threads, there is a Tom Joad and a Ma Joad somewhere out there trying to make the ends meet in a hostile world which tries to beat them down. For all the people who made this movie possible from the great author John Steinbeck, John Ford, Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell and others - may your tribe prosper, here's to you all !