Hidden Figures By Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan And Mary Jackson

1785 WordsFeb 5, 20178 Pages
Hidden Figures Film Analysis Hidden Figures is a 2016 film that recounts the story of three incredible black women in NASA history: Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson. The film largely sheds light on the experiences of these three women working as computers for NASA during 1960s segregated America. Public restrooms are separated between the whites and coloreds, the white male patriarchy dominates the field, and as always, racism is alive and well. During the film, the political unrest of the country is present and very much of conversation, and as these three women navigate their way throughout society with positions no one expects them to hold, they quite literally make history through their groundbreaking work, history…show more content…
The acting of the three main characters was genuine, honest, and truly exemplary. What I also found to be quite interesting and perhaps a weakness of the film, was the sense of performative racism that four of the main white characters utilize and how the makers of the film appeal to such a phenomenon through symbolisms as well. In the movie, there seems to be two main kinds of racism the characters exhibit, one of them being blatant racism and another being subtle racism through microaggressions. For example, Katherine experiences blatantly racist and misogynistic behavior from her coworkers, especially from Paul Stafford, the lead engineer (making groupthink much easier) and Ruth, the only other woman working in the office. On the other hand, Al Harrison and John Glenn appeal to the subtler sides of racism and performative white pity, Glenn going out of his way to shake the hands of the computers as the film attempted to paint a positive, “not-all-whites” picture of inclusion, acceptance and tolerance, a kind of racism that almost all of the white people in the film come to, by its end. Examples of this can be seen in scenes like the one in which Al Harrison smashes down the “coloreds” and “whites” restroom signs as if implying that doing so will abolish all racial inequalities with a couple of blows of blunt force. One could infer it seems, that paired with the groundbreaking stories of these three women, white people being decent human
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