...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

May 08, 2006

Bamboozled - 7

This Spike Lee film deals with race in popular culture. Pierre Delacroix is a black TV writer on a staff that is predominantly white. He is frustrated by his boss' stereotyped vision of what TV shows made for blacks should look like. So he comes up with a minstrel show for the new millennium, blackface and all. Intended as satire the show takes off and anger and violence ensue. The main dialogue and arguing over the validity of the show is between Delacroix and his assistant (played by Jada Pinkett Smith, Mos Def plays her outspoken brother). This is a well made film, and does a good job of explaining different responses to the stereotypes that we have in our culture. The film as makes reference to the films Network and Malcolm X (a previous Spike Lee film). The point of TV from the creator's perspective is to change people, to motivate them toward action. What is made clear in most films is that it doesn't do this, it numbs and woos most people to apathy. The montage of old TV footage is a damning statement against the huge amount of racism that is in America's history which, while improved, has not been completely reconciled. A very thought provoking film that asks good questions about race and culture.

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