In "Blues Ain't No Mockin Bird," do you think Granny and Grandaddy have a right to be upset with the filmmakers and cameraman?  

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Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The scene the filmmakers and cameraman intrude into is one of peaceful family life. Four children play innocently out of doors; Granny sits ladling rum on fresh-baked Christmas cakes; Granddaddy is away hunting chicken hawks. The filmmakers intrude and try persuading Granny to let them film her family's lives as part of a documentary on the Federal and State Food Stamp Program. Granny wants no part of it. She tells them to leave and to get off her property.

The filmmakers have no regard for Granny's wishes or her rights. They remain and continue to film their documentary. It isn't until tall, strong, imposing Granddaddy comes home with a chicken hawk he has just killed that the filmmakers and cameraman finally listen to reason and leave--of course, first Granddaddy broke their camera....

Granny and Granddaddy had every right to be upset about the filming being done. For one thing, they owned their property and after being asked to leave, the filmers were trespassing. For another thing, in America, if a citizen declines to give permission to be included in filmed or photographed or audio-recorded material, then filming, photographing or audio recording must stop. Finally, the filmmakers were demonstrating great personal disrespect by thinking of Granny and her family as a spectacle to be recorded rather than as individuals with rights, privileges and dignity. Plus they were trodding on Granny's garden.

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Blues Ain't No Mockingbird

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