Racial Discourse in the Film 8 Mile Directed by Curtis Hanson

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The film 8 Mile, directed by Curtis Hanson, is the typical American story of struggle and the eventual overcoming of obstacles and evil. Upon closer look, the film is arguably a socioeconomic and racial discourse. It focuses on the ascension of Marshall Mathers into the rap industry, previously dominated by African-American males. Rabbit’s race, gender, and class, all contribute to his identity and the meaning of the film, as well as contributing to Eminem’s image. Several themes are defined through the movie’s underlying discourse of race and class: the commodification of black culture, racial opposition, “passing”, cross-cultural bonding, white heroism and white masculinity, the reversal of white privilege into a disadvantage, and …show more content…
The film 8 Mile, directed by Curtis Hanson, is the typical American story of struggle and the eventual overcoming of obstacles and evil. Upon closer look, the film is arguably a socioeconomic and racial discourse. It focuses on the ascension of Marshall Mathers into the rap industry, previously dominated by African-American males. Rabbit’s race, gender, and class, all contribute to his identity and the meaning of the film, as well as contributing to Eminem’s image. Several themes are defined through the movie’s underlying discourse of race and class: the commodification of black culture, racial opposition, “passing”, cross-cultural bonding, white heroism and white masculinity, the reversal of white privilege into a disadvantage, and essentially, the film in its entirety as a racially biased film.
Set in 1995, 8 Mile is the semi-autobiographical movie about Eminem’s, né Marshall Mathers, ascent into fame and the hip-hop scene, previously dominated by African-Americans. Jimmy is a high school graduate living in Warren, Michigan, working in a factory. He’s a white male with the aspirations of becoming a rapper. He lives with his mother, Stephanie, who has a younger and abusive boyfriend, and his little sister, Lily in a trailer. Throughout the movie, he has an unstable but sexual relationship with a girl named Alex, who he catches having sex with his friend, Wink (8 Mile). The Free World, the opposing, all-black gang that rules over the rap scene and the other side of 8 Mile

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