The fairy tale is an art form flexible and abstract enough to be repurposed for just about anything. This is exactly what happened when Middle Tennessee State University professor Bob Pondillo filmed “The Miracles on Honey Bee Hill,” a short film using actors aged 8-9 years old and utilizing the tropes of fairy tales to explore the issue of same sex marriage.
However, the film’s reception was controversial, as local Republican politicians were quick to decry the use of child actors as exploitative, despite the fact that the director took every precaution: letting the parents/guardians read the script, having them on the premises while the film was made, and signing releases. The main politician protesting the film has apparently not seen it. I wonder whether these people would be so quick to question the exploitative potential of, say, a pro-life protestor bringing children to a protest site.
The film could be viewed here on imdb until now – it looks like it’s been set to private, which is unfortunate. I watched it while it was up, and I thought it was cute and heart-warming, if a bit pedantic at the end. Especially in light of the North Carolina decision to ban same-sex marriage, we need to be evaluating where homophobic prejudice comes from, and films that shake up our perceptions by utilizing familiar fairy tale motifs juxtaposed with new elements like child actors help to do just that.
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