Based on another thread discussion about racial bias in film (https://qoto.org/@tripu/107128812553422948), here's a peudo-random list of ten films to critique regarding how they treat black actors/characters.
Mad Max:Fury Road (2015)
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Midnight in Paris (2011)
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Of those on the list that I hadn't seen yet, only Lion and Moneyball are available for free (that I could find). Lion is about a guy's journey back to his family in India. In a quick scan of the film, I didn't see any black people, mostly Indian actors, Nicole Kidman and another white guy.
**** Spoilers *****
I watched Moneyball and it's a perfect example of what I'm talking about. It's extremely biased against black people. It's a film about baseball. In real life there are a lot of black people in baseball, but in this film the screen is nearly always filled with white faces. There are only a few bit parts by black actors in this dialogue-heavy film and one other black character (small part), a player who got about a dozen lines -- mostly negative and largely in opposition to the protagonist.
The first black actor with lines didn't come until more than a half-hour into the film. In the scene, he was the only black person in a room with about a dozen other white guys. He has a couple of lines and was questioning/opposing the protagonist. The next black bit part had 2-3 lines and again contradicted the protagonist. Later, when the black character/player is being interviewed by a reporter, she interrupts him as he begins to speak. The reporter says, "Excuse me. Could you please get out of my shot.", (speaking to a random extra who was placed into the scene specifically for the reporter to utter that negative line). And there were a couple more bit parts, again same negative tone.
When the team wins its triumphant record-breaking game, it was a white guy who hit the home run, but when the team suffers its crushing loss, it was a black guy who hit the pop fly for the game-losing out.
This is what I talking about -- the racial bias in film. These films are not outliers, they're typical. I'm sure we'd see the same sort of thing in other films in that random list.
Here's a frame from "Moneyball", showing a black man blurred out while the white guy is in focus:
Here's another scene from "Moneyball" showing the protagonist (right) and a black actor playing a bit part. Notice how the white guy is in the foreground, closer to the camera, while the black guy is back, away from the camera, resulting a smaller image of his face.
Also, the white guy is smiling while the black guy is frowning.
In this scene the black guy repeatedly contradicts the white protagonist.
White people face constant discrimination in baseball and are stereotyped as being bad at it. This movie strives for representation and racial justice in professional baseball by focusing on the often ignored achievements of white players.
You are just a racist who can't handle other races being portrayed in a positive light.
lol, I'm not one to like affirmative action for any race, and certainly not whites. So even if this were true I'd find it a bad reason.
That said while Pat's point is valid that there is bias against blacks to some degree I want to point out when i see movies intentionally made all black, like that all-black version of wizard of the oz I personally find that equally unacceptable.
To me a good measure is where race isnt really a big issue (except to achieve accuracy with a setting_ The screen should be a relatively honest representation of the same demographics we would see inr eality in the same setting. Again unless the plot is somehow explicitly about a race in an unusual setting for that race.
I havent watched this move but if your comment is serious then it would depend on if the movie really does sell that narrative, of a white guy who is experiencing resistance in baseball due to his race. Like white men cant jump movie, that is partly that, so having a white man as the main character made sense despite blacks dominating that sport.
My favorite quote from the film:
"In their minds it's threatening the game. Really, what it's threatening is their livelihood, their jobs. It's threatening the way that they do things.... Anybody who is not tearing their team down right now and rebuilding it using your model, they're dinosaurs."
I watched Lion and it had no black people in it, not even any extras. I saw Looper many years ago and don't remember much but online research and the cast lineup indicate there is only one minor character played by a black actress, a waitress (definitely menial), so that's biased also. Mad Max has a bi-racial actress, Zoë Kravitz, but I have no idea how much screen time she gets, or what the part is or how it's played. Midnight in Paris has a large cast with one bi-racial actress (Sonia Rolland) who plays Josephine Baker in this period piece. The rest of the credited cast is white, so it really depends on how many lines Rolland gets and how the film presents Baker. Mission Impossible has a bi-racial actress, Paula Patten, and Ving Rhames makes a cameo at the end. The rest of the cast is white. I'm not sure how Patten's role is played (as she can crossover playing black or ambiguous race roles), or how much screen time she gets, etc. Moonlight is a movie starring a black man and I don't know what the character is like. (probably not a Wall Street Banker) Moonrise Kingdom appears to be an all-white film, so that's biased.
So here's what we got so far:
Lion - no black characters, *biased*
Logan - ?
Looper - one black menial character, *biased*
Mad Max:Fury Road - ?
Manchester by the Sea - ?
Midnight in Paris - ?
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol - ?
Moneyball - *extreme bias*
Moonlight - ?
Moonrise Kingdom - no black characters, *biased*
Has anyone else seen these or have access to them?
Since our conversation I took note of this in the last film I watched which was planet of the apes, the tim burton version.
At first I thought it might be a counterexample as looking at the cast before watching it seemed to have a very racially diverse cast.
Once I watched it however I realized not a single human main character was a minority, every single one of them was white. In fact except for the token half-naked woman they were all white males specifically.
All those minorities I were seeing? They were the characters playing the apes. And while many of the supporting ape characters were minorities the two main character apes were even white people.
Its hard to have that much bias accidentally I'd say.
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