[Marxism] Why Hollywood keeps whitewashing the past

A Vasquez collationes37 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 16 05:46:33 MDT 2011

My wife and I saw the trailer for this in the movie theater some months
back, and thought the exact same thing. My wife is black, and recently she
told me that many of the women in her family worked as the "help" in
southern Louisiana. She had some interesting anecdotes, such as when the
white women would tell her mother not to lick her finger before seeing if
the fan was hot, since that would spread "her germs" on their clothes, and
so on. White people thinking they would have "behaved differently" back then
is a fantasy indeed, just like how conservatives whose parents beat up
people for being on the wrong side of the sidewalk now cry "reverse
discrimination" and "color-blind society" every time someone brings up the
past. "Surely, we have all learned our lesson! Why dwell on the past? etc."

On Sun, Aug 14, 2011 at 10:37 AM, Dennis Brasky <dmozart1756 at gmail.com>wrote:

> ======================================================================
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> ======================================================================
> Why Hollywood keeps whitewashing the past"The Help" is just the latest
> movie
> to sugarcoat oppression by painting enlightened white people as heroes
> By Matt Zoller Seitz<
> http://www.salon.com/author/matt_zoller_seitz/index.html>
> clip -
> American historical films are forever refighting old wars, congratulating
> themselves for being on the right side, and encouraging viewers to pat
> themselves on the back for being on the right side, too. They view the war
> from the general's tent up on a distant hill and imagine that they're right
> in the thick of it. That's how Paul Haggis' "Crash" swept the Oscars in
> 2006
> -- by serving up a contemporary story of Los Angelenos who said and did
> brazenly racist things in public constantly, as if it were 1967 and
> everyone
> was wearing love beads, Afros and hard hats. The characters seemed crude
> and
> primitive, lacking in self-awareness, unenlightened; this made them easy to
> label, judge and dismiss. A variation on this strategy has enabled another
> race drama, "The Help," to become an instant
> hit<
> http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2011/08/the-help-helps-itself-to-a-strong-start-at-the-box-office.html
> >,
> a likely Oscar contender, and yet another reminder that when mainstream
> cinema depicts discrimination, it tends to ask the same two questions: "How
> did this affect white people?" and "Aren't you glad you're not bigoted like
> the creeps in this movie?"
> Based on the 2009 novel by Kathryn Stockett, and endorsed by Oprah
> Winfrey<
> http://www.oprah.com/omagazine/The-Help-by-Kathryn-Stockett-Reading-Group-Guide
> >and
> Tyler
> Perry<
> http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/archives/2011/0/09/tyler_perry_gives_the_help_his_stamp_of_approval_reviews_are_coming_in/
> >,
> this civil rights-era movie about a young Caucasian writer telling the
> harsh
> but true stories of African-American domestics appears to grant the stories
> of its white and black characters equal weight. It even gives the
> voice-over
> narration to one of the maids, Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis). But the
> pretense of dramatic equality collapses if you look at what's actually
> happening on-screen, and what got marginalized or omitted.
> http://www.salon.com/news/race/index.html?story=/ent/movies/feature/2011/08/12/why_hollywood_keeps_white_washing_the_past&source=newsletter&utm_source=contactology&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Salon_Daily%20Newsletter%20%28Not%20Premium%29_7_30_110
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