The life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination… the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land (qtd. in W.T.L. 235).
Using the language of the moving image, which includes cinematography, editing, sound, music and mise-en-scene, this essay will investigate the ideology of Racism in film. OxfordDictionaries.com describes racism as “Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.” When we, the audience think of racism in film, we traditionally think of movies for adults and often overlook the sinister aspect of racism in children’s films. I have chosen to contrast a recent R-rated film with a G-rated Disney movie from the 1990s. Disney films, even up until the 1990s have persistently reinforced the image of blacks or latino and asian races as being below whites. The
In his directorial debut, Jordan Peele steers away from his comedic reputation to make the suspenseful thriller that is Get Out. The film is very intriguing and keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat throughout from start to finish as you follow Chris Washington, a young african american man, who travels with his white girlfriend to her family’s house when he uncovers a dark secret. For the typical fan of horror/thriller, it's a must see.
Author and sociologist, Dalton Conley, is a Caucasian boy who grows up in a predominantly African-American and Latino neighborhood in the Lower East Side of Manhattan during the 1970’s and 80’s. In his book, Honky, he tells us a unique view through a young boy’s eyes uncovering the way in which individuals are perceived in social reality, and how some groups of people are classified. He also speaks about how some groups get better opportunities and privileges then others. This book is a very powerful autobiography, according to his book, written by, “not your typical middle class white male.” (prologue, p. xiii) He goes on to say that he is middle class, even though his parents didn’t have any money and that he is a white boy, even though he grew up in an inner city housing project where mostly everyone was Black or Hispanic. Dalton speaks about his experience as a white boy exploring his definition of race and class and saying that, “race and class are nothing more than a set of stories we tell ourselves to get through the world, to organize our reality.” (prologue, p. xiv) He describes his childhood as a “social science experiment, Find out what being middle class really means by raising a kid from a so-called good family in a so-called bad neighborhood.” (prologue, p. xiii)
Get Out is a film by Jordan Peele, which was release on February 24, 2017. Get Out is a social thriller, which follows an interracial couple, Rose and Chris. Chris and Rose take a weekend to visit her family, the Armitage family, home in a isolated area surrounded by a forest. The plot spirals out of control following many disturbing discoveries by Chris and in turn, Chris must get out of the Armitage household.
The cinematic film Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele, presents a scenario in which African Americans are targeted by white people mainly for their physical advantages. The plot follows Chris Washington, a professional African American photographer who goes away for the weekend to visit his white girlfriend’s family. Chris’ best friend, Rod Williams, is a TSA agent who is concerned about Chris going to a white family’s estate. Throughout the movie, Chris discusses to Rod the strange events that occur in the Armitage house. Get out displays how two people use their intelligence and ability to identify social cues to escape from an arduous situation.
Commonly referred to as a classic by millennials, Mean Girls, directed by Mark Waters in 2004, allows an interesting critique of racism when viewed through a sociological lens. The story follows Cady Herron, a normal teenager- except for the fact that she grew up in Africa, homeschooled by her scientist parents- as she is forced to integrate into the public-school system in Illinois. Never having been in an institution like a public school, Cady quickly learns what not to do and who to hang out with. Through trial and error, Cady assimilates and becomes a ‘normal’ American teenager who is part of the ‘popular’ crowd, befriending “The Plastics”; Karen Smith, Gretchen Wieners, and their leader, Regina George. The story of Mean Girls is not as superficial as it seems. This film illustrates the perils of not only teenage life, but current life in America, and accurately depicts the struggles that minorities face. Looking at this movie through Functionalist theory, the racial aggressions present are part of a larger institution of the public school system; insinuating that the micro and macro-aggressions directed towards minorities are part of developing the future generation and teaching them to perpetuate racial inequality in America, allowing white people to remain the majority race and to reap the benefits that come with it. The complexity of the movie lies within an interesting discourse that examines the effects and functions behind the racist
Get Out (2016), directed by Jordan Peele takes a look at how an interracial couple, Chris and Rose, who decided to get out for one weekend to Rose’s parents home but things begin to take a turn once they arrive. Peele uses both a comedic side to help lighten up the mood but also utilizes terror in the film to highlight important issues such as being Black in America. Throughout the film, Get Out uses many symbols, signs, imagery that takes a look at social realities of American race relations but also in the understable parniona black people can’t help but feel after years of kidnapping, slavery, biased policing, and many more issues when Chris wonders what he got himself into.(quote). Overall, this film has been broadcasted on many platforms such as in movie theaters, television, social media apps, magazines and newspapers.
The dichotomy between the black boyfriend and the white girlfriend’s parents highlights racial tension that has been heating up over the last few years. With the United States’ change of power this January, there is much uncertainty on many social issues, and Peele’s film speaks on some of the ongoing tension. As Moonlight, a film that also highlights the troubles of life as a minority individual won the Oscar for Best Picture already this year, Get Out offers another, yet alternative, gaze into the perceptions and realities for people living in fear of their unknown state. With this in mind, the film has already sparked some interest from a few black
It doesn’t take long to figure out that race and ethnicity issues continue to affect America - a quick glance at the news will show the latest riot, hate crime, or police brutality incident. This centuries old struggle has given rise to a number of literary works on the topic, many of which take a different approach to the issue. W.E.B. Du Bois, for instance, published the work The Souls of Black Folk in 1903, arguing for blacks’ right to equality in a horrifically segregated society. In these essays, Du Bois coined the term “double-consciousness,” wherein those with black skin must view the world both from their own perspective, and from the perspective of the predominately white society. The short story Recitatif by Toni Morrison explores this concept through the removal of the characters’ races, and the film Do the Right Thing, directed by Spike Lee, tells a story to demonstrate it. While the former shows double-consciousness through the usage of ambiguity, the latter almost directly references the concept. Taken together, these two sources argue a multi-faceted version double-consciousness, wherein society alienates the characters in ways that go beyond just the color of one’s skin.
The film opens with an African American, later revealed to be Andre, walking around at night in an upper middle class suburb. He is trying to get directions as a white car begins to follow him. It is discovered later in the film that the man in the car is Jeremy, Rose’s brother through the recurrence of the white car and knight’s mask near the end of the film when Chris is trying to escape. An important thing to note in this scene is the director’s use of film noir, which depicts the film’s use of low-lighting and not shots. At first watch, this scene appears to only serve to set up the eery vibe through film noir, but this vibe that director Jordan Peele is putting off is meant to remind the audience of the Trayvon Martin case. Similar to the murder of
Jordan Peels’s Get Out (2017) is entertaining through its chilling aspects; however, it also focuses on an extremely important issue in today’s society. Peele uses the combination of sound and graphics to portray the ongoing issue of racism. In this film, a black man by the name of Chris (played by Daniel Kaluuya) is going to meet his Caucasian girlfriend of 4 months- Rose’s (Allison Williams) parents. Chris is very paranoid that his skin color may be a problem with Rose’s folks, but she assures him that her parents are loving of everyone no matter their skin tone. When Chris arrives to Rose’s parent’s upscale property, he is a little uneasy. The housekeeper and groundskeeper are African American and they have a very strange persona, which increases his discomfort. Through tone and dialogue, Get Out expresses how the factor of racism has continually added to the aspect of racial paranoia.
The Film A Time to Kill directed by Joel Schumacher, produced in 1996 is an American crime drama film and contains many examples of dominant attitudes in society. The film is focused around the dominant attitudes of racism in society which is primarily evident in the favouritism of whites in the perspective of law. The film features how a black man feared this discrimination so greatly he took the law into his own hands by punishing two white men the way two black men would be punished. Throughout the text we see the conflict between two opposing lawyers in court and how racism is an evident issue. This essay will discuss the dominant attitudes in society around the topic of racism and how they are represented and revealed by conflict between
The film focuses on African American historical events, with special concentration on the civil rights era. With the White House segments of the film starting in the oppressive Eisenhower years, it offers a presidential level insight into the historic freedom movements of the 1960’s, all the way through until the day that Barack Obama is elected president in 2008. I am going to argue that Daniels’ representation of history and race are much more than a ‘parody of historical drama’, as he defies the ‘conventional’ stereotypes of Hollywood (Martin 2013) through the focus on individual character depictions and rejection of generalisations seen previously in African American films.