OMA, Gender & Sexuality Center Show ‘Hidden Figures’

Screengrab via IMDb

Natalie Irula 

Opinion Editor 

As I sat down in seat number eight with my during-movie munchies, it was clear eight was the lucky number for tonight because that’s how many people were in attendance as the movie began.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs in conjunction with the Gender and Sexuality Center presented the movie Hidden Figures last Thursday night in the Science and Technology Center, followed by a short discussion.

Despite being ill-attended, the event accomplished its goal: to alert those who attended to the trials and tribulations that black people, specifically black women, endured post-civil war.

“This event’s purpose is to try to get people together,” said Ariel Tucci, Interim Director at the Gender and Sexuality Center. “Hidden figures is a good intersection between the two,” meaning the two departments working with each other to make this event possible.

That much was clear as movie-goers mingled, chatting by the array of pita chips, spinach dip, and cookies before the show.

“This event meets in the middle because it’s about women too and being able to show the gender aspect of it as well,” said Ciera Romero-Wright, senior interning at the Gender and Sexuality Center.

The movie focused on the true story surrounding astronaut John Glenn’s mission to orbit the Earth that wouldn’t have been possible if not for the minds behind the mission, three black women working at NASA throughout the 1930s to the 1960s.

“It was cool to see the recurring symbolism throughout the film, to see that growth,” said Tucci during the discussion. “The movie itself didn’t take away from the women. These things happened because of the great women that made them happen.”

Other discussion members commented on the perseverance of the women even though they were viewed as second-tier in society, the underlying humorous tone of the often bewildered men portrayed in the film and how the black community stuck together to draw strength from each other during hard times.

“The project leader was always my favorite character,” said student Alan Dent, “because he didn’t really care about who it was that was doing the work. He just wanted it done. I think we need more people like that.”

Unfortunately, the low turnout was likely due to a slip in advertising, as the Movie Night event didn’t include which movie would be shown.

“No, I’m not going,” said Hunter Renwick, a junior. “It’s probably going to be something like Frozen.”

Not to bash Frozen, but Hidden Figures was far from it in terms of the magnitude of the story it tells.

Tucci later revealed that the mishap was due to copyright problems, but assured that a way around the problem had been found and looked to the future for a more successful turnout next time.

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