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

February 28, 2008

Pride - 5

It's a shame, but films like this have become bland. The formula is the same. Black people have been discriminated against in all areas of life in America since slavery, and in the last 50 years have made some inroads into things they had been excluded from. Rallying around a strong, courageous leader, a group find meaning and victory by fighting prejudice and doing good. Remember the Titans used football, this film uses swimming. Based on the life of Jim Ellis (Terrence Howard), the film uses all of the standard lines and story to show how he inspired young people to start swimming and gain their dignity and pride back from racism and oppression. It's not that these stories aren't good, its just that filmmakers are not very creative in their telling it. And I wonder what it does for race relations in the world as this narrative becomes the dominant one. It seems to conflate the American dream of working hard with the reconciliation needed in order to live with and in the midst of a society that still has to come to terms with racism and prejudice. These films have the potential for creating dialogue, but rarely do as the issue is reduced to a simple formula that leaves the audience entertained rather than confronted.

No comments: