The Secret Life of Bees

2008 PG-13 1h 49m Blu-ray / DVD

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The Secret Life of Bees

2008 PG-13 1h 49m Blu-ray / DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Haunted by her mother's death, 14-year-old Lily Owens (Dakota Fanning) escapes her dreary life on her father's farm and heads to Tiburon, S.C., with friend and caregiver Rosaleen Daise (Jennifer Hudson), spawning a life-changing journey of self-discovery. Set amid the hotbed of racial tensions in the 1960s South, writer-director Gina Prince-Bythewood's touching drama is based on Sue Monk Kidd's best-selling novel of the same name.
Format
Blu-ray DVD
Screen
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1
Subtitles
English, French, Spanish (Neutral)
CC
No
Audio
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Screen
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.35:1
Subtitles
English, French, Spanish (Neutral)
CC
No
Audio
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: DTS 5.1 HD, Spanish (Neutral): Dolby Digital 5.1
Rating
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 13+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 13+
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Reviews

age 13+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this emotional, 1960s-set drama includes multiple scenes of a man reacting violently toward his wife and daughter. The child witnesses her father's assault on her mother (resulting in off-camera gunshots and death); as a young teen, the same child is the victim of heartless physical and mental punishment. The unexpected discovery of a beloved character's dead body is intense and may be disturbing to some young viewers. African-American characters suffer at the hands of prejudiced white Southerners in many scenes. Racial hatred is illustrated by ugly name-calling (including use of the "N" word) and two beatings. But in spite of all of the above, the filmmakers don't exploit or maximize the action. They show only as much as necessary to provide the desired impact.

Sexual Content

Gentle kissing and embracing between two adults on several occasions; teens share one innocent kiss.

Violence

An abusive husband assaults his wife (repeated in flashback), forcefully slaps a teen, and is menacing and threatening in many scenes. Gunshots are fired, resulting in an off-camera death. Racial intimidation results in severe physical beatings of two African-American characters. A dead body is revealed in an intensely emotional scene.

Language

Fairly minimal mild cursing: "goddammit," "damn it to hell," "bitch," "bust his ass." Multiple uses of racial epithets, including the "N" word, used to humiliate and threaten African-American characters.

Social Behavior

The ugly nature of racial prejudice is depicted several times. Some white residents of "The South" in 1964 are shown to be inhumane and brutal, their actions based on ignorance and irrational fear. A violent, cruel husband/father ultimately pays the price for his behavior.

Consumerism

Wonder Bread, Coca-Cola.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

A father drinks beer in one scene, whiskey in another.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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