Black or White

Brenda Reichel
Gemologist and appraiser

Where and with whom did you see the movie?

I saw the movie at Consolidated Ward Theaters with my friend Samantha Kasnetz.


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Brenda Reichel

Overall, what did you think?

I think Hollywood needs to stop portraying such racial distinctions. Black or white, you can end up down the same rabbit hole of drugs and dysfunctional family.

Black, white, Asian, European, African — rise above what is perceived by the media. This movie was about a little girl having lost her mother at birth and then losing her grandmother.

Without giving away the ending, what was one of your favorite scenes?

Court scenes. I liked the judge when she gave “the look” to Rowena Jeffers (played by Octavia Spencer), the grandmother.

She always was giving Kevin Kostner (playing Elliot Anderson) the “give me some love,” a hug and kiss with bright lipstick on his cheek.

On a scale of one to four stars, what would you rate this film?

★★ 1/2.

What did you think of the cinematography?

I thought it was good in showing the different areas of Los Angeles.

Was the message/theme clear?

Families and life are not always black and white. Family is what you make of it. Compromise and do not put children in any difficult position to choose one family or the other. In Hawaii, especially, families are blended and mixed today.

You cannot afford to hurt your child or grandchild, or any family member because of racial stereotypes.

Did it remind you of any other works of film?

Guess Who is Coming to Dinner and The Help, and the Broadway production of Purlie.

Who would you recommend this movie to?

I would recommend this movie to anyone who has a blended family or is thinking of blending a family, to see how relationships need to be worked on, no matter the dynamics.

Did any of the actors stand out?

Kevin Costner is always good. Octavia Spencer was the typical black mother stereotype seen in many movies in the past.

Did you identify with any of the characters?

Octavia’s character Rowena Jeffers believed her children suffered because of the loss of their father, but she was blinded by her love for her son to his arrests and drug use.

Eloise just wanted to have her father in her life. He was a constant no-show. This happens all the time to someone I know. It breaks your heart to see the hurt and disappointment on a child’s face, no matter what their age.

Did the soundtrack contribute significantly to the film?

Soundtrack was just OK. I would like to hear a little more music.

Would you buy this movie when it comes out on DVD?

No, I don’t think I would buy it on DVD or download.

What’s your favorite movie snack?

Popcorn with mochi crunch and a hot dog with the works.

On a different note, what’s new with you?

You can find me at Carats & Karats Fine Jewelry, Antiques & Collectibles;and at Kama‘aina Metals. Call for an appointment at either location: 735-2301 or 526-1502, or email

My radio show “GemNews” is on Saturdays from 6 to 7 p.m. on KWAI 1080 AM.

You can sign up for my class “Agony and Ivory” at Honolulu Museum Art School April 12 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. To register, call the school at 532-8741.