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Rated NR

Adventure, Drama
Gina Prince-Bythewood directs and adapts Sue Monk Kidd’s best-selling novel that bolsters womanhood, motherhood and racial equality, all in one powerful tale. The story takes place in South Carolina just after the signing of the Civil Rights Act, yet discrimination against black people is ever-present. Dakota Fanning plays Lily, a troubled 14-year-old haunted by her tragic past. Determined to find answers about her late mother and to escape from her abusive father, Lily and her victimized nanny (Jennifer Hudson) flee. The two end up in the benevolent care of an inspiring beekeeper (Queen Latifah) and her two sisters on a honey farm; they teach the runaways about acceptance, forgiveness and emotional healing. Commanding performances by the lead and supporting players, including Alicia Keys and Sophie Okonedo, make this heartfelt film worth buzzing about.

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Portland Mercury AAAAAAAGGGH! BEES! Mommy issues trump civil rights in The Secret Life of Bees. by Alison Hallett 10/16/2008

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