Analysis Of The Documentary ' Nigel Morris ' Empire Of Light

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Nigel Morris’ Empire of Light offers numerous criticisms of Spielberg’s Indiana Jones series. His conclusions draw on the subconscious biases of the film with topics ranging from American imperialism, anti-feminism, and the “white man’s burden”. Morris argues the hero - the white, American, and masculine Jones - is inseparable from these identities (pg. 77). While he makes interesting points about the role of Marion and other characters in relation to Jones to support this argument, as he acknowledges, Spielberg has contended, “it is only a movie”. Morris rejects this claim by insisting, “an analogous process… occurs during viewing, the result of alignment with inscribed spectators and with the filmmakers through recognized intertextuality” (pg. 80). He dismisses Spielberg’s counterargument as a simple cliché and claims that viewers will be hit with subtle ideological biases when they are most vulnerable. He makes valid points about the American idealism that Indiana Jones represents and the stereotypical foreign nations which hosts his exotic escapades, but at the same time he neglects many scenes across the films that show a deeper side of the action hero. Both Raiders of the Lost Arc and Temple of Doom contain examples that contradict the narrative and demonstrates a more complex film. Indiana Jones is primarily based of the serials of the 1930’s which were overrun by stereotypes of women and foreigners. They depicted an almost senseless violence where the white male hero

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