‘Hidden Figures’ more relevant than ever

Sydney Van Leeuwen, Contributing Writer

“Here at NASA, we all pee the same color.”
And the entire audience applauded.
It has been a long time since I have seen a movie that had so much participation from the audience.
Numerous lines in the Oscar-nominated “Hidden Figures” elicited a reaction from the nearly full theater I sat in Saturday night.
It was an experience that I will remember for quite a while, and the film itself was something to be admired.
For those unaware, director Theodore Melfi casts Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae as the real-life African-American mathematicians Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, respectively, all of whom worked at NASA in the 1960s during the space race.
This period in history is known for both its sexist and racist atmosphere and this is quite obviously depicted in the movie.
While all three women get their moment to shine, so to speak, Henson’s portrayal of Johnson is given the most screen time.
Johnson must overcome the difficulty of being an African-American working at NASA—they must work in the basement on a campus at least half a mile from the main buildings, which becomes an issue when her assignment changes and the only bathroom she can use is at this location.
She must handle the scrutiny of her male co-workers when she is promoted to work as a computer for the Space Task Group—they give her a separate coffee pot and treat her with disdain.
She must push past the assumption that women are not capable of the work she can so clearly accomplish without difficulty.
Her future husband says, upon their first meeting, that he is surprised women can work at NASA. Johnson is a lovable character, and the audience I was a part of rooted for her the entire two hours and seven minutes.
The United States has had an issue with sexism and racism since its inception.
Many are still not satisfied, even in 2017, of the way women and minorities are treated in our society.
Regardless of one’s beliefs on the current situation, this movie is certainly uplifting.
My roommates and I were so inspired after seeing the film that we jokingly told our Math major friend that we’d consider doing some of her homework with her.
It was one of the most inspiring movies I have ever seen in my 21 years of life.
It should win Oscars galore in February, but if it doesn’t, at least you’ll be satisfied knowing that you saw a real, raw depiction of the beauty of humanity, and this country, before it left the theater forever.
4.99 stars out of 5 stars.