Monday, November 23, 2009

Why I'm not sure I want to see The Blind Side

I love a heart warming and uplifting film as much as the next girl... but I don't know if I want to see this movie. I might, just for the purpose of being fair... and because its a football movie, and I'm with a man who lives and breathes football, I'll be roped into going.
But the basic premise of this film disturbs me. Check the trailer:

This smacks of a recurring theme in similar movies:

  • Losing Isaiah
  • Dangerous Minds
  • Hardball
  • Wildcats
  • Radio

Downtrodden black kid(s)-- at best ignored by their communities and families, at worst abused by them-- are saved when some white person feels the tug on the heartstrings and decides to help. Thus, their life is drastically changed for the better and all is again right with the world.

I love my white folks. I really do. But COME ON. This is getting so incredibly old. Hollywood is basically perpetuating the idea that Black Folks are so messed up, they can't take care of their own. It takes someone from the outside to blaze a trail in and work tirelessly and thanklessly to save the little black children.

Enough already.

Before I get head of myself, Precious, a movie that I recommended people go see, has a similar, yet more insidious pattern. Every positive person in that film was very fair skinned in contrast to the victimizers and the victim, who were all very dark skinned. I think that is more a failure of the casting director (since anyone who read Push by Sapphire knows that Ms. Rain was dark skinned with locs-- a far cry from Paula Patton), than a failure of the material. I also believe that Precioius' father was a lighter skinned black man in the book.

But honestly, I'm sick of the "Great White Hope" theme in movies. Yes, it happens, but there are times when its the other way around. See the Secret Life of Bees, or The Legend of Bagger Vance, or Akeelah and the Bee... three highly under-rated (in my humble opine) movies that show how Black folk can uplift others and themselves.

Here is's take on this:

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