Film: Guess Who?

865 Words 4 Pages
Representations of Essentialism and Non-essentialism within the film ‘Guess Who’.
The values and views held by the majority of society are often reflected within the media. This can be seen by an audience through films such as ‘Guess Who’ which contains representations of various values and perspectives in regards to the intercultural concept of essentialism and non-essentialism. The film ‘Guess Who’ released in 2005, is a comedy based on an African American female who introduces her Caucasian boyfriend to her family. Within the film, the intercultural concepts are explored through the characters, to position the audience to view that essentialist views encourages prejudice of people from different cultures which in turn results in them
…show more content…
Within ‘Guess Who’ the character of Theresa Jones embodies the concept of non-essentialism. The producer does this in order to position the audience to see that “essentialism influence(s) prejudice, perceived differences between groups, dispositional attributes and justifying social inequalities”. (INCITE REFERENCE) In response to her boyfriend questioning why she didn’t tell her parents that he was Caucasian she says “I didn’t tell them because it doesn’t matter” (Sullivan, 2005). The cab driver who is also African American then says “its gonna matter” (Sullivan, 2005). This juxtaposition demonstrates Theresa’s ability to look beyond appearance and value and love another person for who they are and what they have in common. The audience are positioned to accept and value Theresa from this scene at the start of the film as she portrays non-essentialism by trying to overcome the racial and cultural differences, which to the majority of an audience is an ideal value.
The film not only showcases the two extremes of essentialist and non-essentialist views, but also displays a view in between. This view is encompassed by Theresa’s mother. Marilyn in the first scenes is shocked at the idea that Theresa’s boyfriend is Caucasian but then in later scenes, she justifies the reasoning of Theresa’s
Open Document