Welcome back to the Persephone movie club! This week’s selection is A League of Their Own, based on the true story of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. I hadn’t watched it in years and had forgotten just how good a movie it is!
- Do you feel like the movie wanted us to be more sympathetic to Dottie or Kit? How does Dottie reflect traditional gender roles versus Kit’s more adventurous (dare I say feminist?) personality? Have your attitudes toward the characters changed in the 20 years since its release?
- When movies are based on true stories, how much responsibility do they have to stay accurate to what really happened? The characters are inspired by real players but with the details totally changed to fit the story better, and while in the movie the league doesn’t get popular until the players start showboating, the real league was successful right from the start. Does it do a disservice to history to change details like this (implying people didn’t want to watch women play when they actually did) to make it more dramatic?
- There’s a brief scene where the ball rolls to the edge of the field and is picked up by an African-American woman who instead of tossing it to Dottie a few feet away, hurls it over her head to another player to show that she’s just as good as the women who are allowed to play. Did you like that the filmmakers acknowledged that while white women had increased opportunities during World War II, other women were left out?
- Do you think Dottie dropped the ball on purpose to let Kit score the winning run in the World Series? Were you happy that the sister who wanted it more won, or sad for the rest of Dottie’s team after following them for the whole movie?
- Should there be crying in baseball? :)
- Related, raise your hand if you cry like a baby at the end when the real former players are shown at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown!
- Why the hell don’t we have professional women’s baseball today? One look at college softball teams and the USA Softball National team shows that the talent exists; why isn’t there as much interest in women’s sports as in men’s?
The next meeting of the movie club will be Friday, August 17; we’ll be watching 2010’s Winter’s Bone. I haven’t seen it yet but have heard that it’s amazing! It’s currently streaming on Netflix Instant. As a special bonus, we’re coordinating with the PMag book club and will be discussing the book by Daniel Woodrell that weekend as well!