Critique Paper #1
2/25/2016Racial Construct in Films
Identifying and recognizing social, gender, and racial constructs rooted within films is something that my mind has never been trained to do before this class. Being completely aware of these constructs within films is a key indicator of how the director, producers, and writers want you to perceive and accept the show and characters.
The first time I started thinking about these constructs was when Dr. B showed us Hallie Berry’s Oscar acceptance speech from 2002. With my lack of knowledge on what a significant moment in history this was, I honestly found her reaction to be a bit dramatic. However, after we watched that clip, Dr. B showed us Hattie McDaniel’s Oscar acceptance speech from 1939. This is the moment that Hallie Berry’s acceptance speech began to make sense to me and I was able to grasp why both Oscar moments were revolutionary for both women and black history.
Within the next few classes, I was introduced to Oscar Micheaux and everything that he strived for in order to create an equal opportunity for African Americans to play feature roles in films other than servant, slave, and comical characters. Micheaux also involved a lot of controversy within his films because the movies he was writing and directing had images that were not seen by the public yet. For example, Micheaux presented the first rape scene of a black woman by a white man. At the time, African American men were painted on film screen as animals that were to be feared by the white woman and to be the white man’s lesser. This rape scene was revolutionary for film at the time but was something that wasn’t uncommon in the real world and Micheaux was the first to shed light on the matter. Learning this information recalled me to the movie “Crash” that came out in 2005. There is a scene where a black couple is pulled over by a white cop. The couple was asked to get out of the car, where they were both…