Homer Smith is a traveling handyman who stops at a yard to get water for his car. There he sees several women working on a fence, very awkwardly. The women, who speak very little English, introduce themselves as German nuns. He gets the water for the car but the mother, the leader of the nuns, persuades him to fix the roof. He stays over night, thinking that he will be paid in the morning and be on his way. Mother Maria is very stern and like things done her way. The nuns have basically no money and survive by living off the land, on vegetables, milk, and eggs. Smith agrees to stay another day to help with small jobs, having high hopes that he will be paid for his work. Mother Maria notice how good Smith was working and came to believe that he was sent by God to build them a chapel (or “shaple” as Mother Maria called it) for them to have mass. When Sunday comes, Mother Maria informs Smith that he will be driving them to Mass ...view middle of the document...
After getting all of the materials to finish build the chapel, Smith was determine that he was going to do this all on his own putting up signs that said keep away and don’t touch for the people that came to help him. He soon learned that he needed help and once he told them how to do everything it would get done. After the chapel was finish Smith and the nuns sat down for their last meal together which he taught those a little more English. After they start to sing Amen as he get ups to leave the only person who knows that he was leaving was Mother Maria.
Am still uncertain on how I feel about the film. The building of the chapel isn’t all that inspirational to me; although it was the main purpose behind the movie at the end it made me want more like a part two (2) because as Smith rides off it leaves you questioning what else?. There’s a little dramatic tension beyond the mild difference of personalities, which rarely comes to shout words, and little change in character. As a result, it doesn’t have a lot of emotional torque to it. But there’s something enjoyable, and even a little amusing about watching the characters. Smith feels like a totally developed, fully actualized character right from the beginning. The same could be assumed for Mother Maria and for Juan. Maybe this is why there is so little character development; there simply isn’t far for them to go.
The movie deals very easily with racism, so easily that today's viewers can miss the issue. As others have seen elsewhere, it carries none of the anger that might be expected in a 1960's.
Homer's self-assurance and self-reliance answer are typical for a man of any color. And that is the movie's answer to racism. Homer is not turned down for being black. He is what he is regardless of his color, as certain in his abilities as any other hero of any other movie. When one white man does call him "boy", Homer does it right back to him with no hatred but just as any man may to his equal who had offended him. Finally from this movie I can say it taught us little about the racial issues that happened back then and also what it means to really work with each other to get something done.