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The rise and fall of the award-winning white-saviour film

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francesco sinibaldi

Amistad.
( third version )

Un profundo
silencio se difunde
en el cuarto con
el soplo ligero
del cansado suspiro:
siento una luz
rimar suavemente
cuando el sueño
regresa pintando
la imagen de
una tierna
colina, veo la
tristeza en los
ojos mojados
de una joven
mujer...

Francesco Sinibaldi

pkeynufu in reply to SimplyAtlantyc

I am a mexican in my 40s.

In enjoyed the Great Wall.

American critics savaged it.

Did that help or hutrt?

I don’t know.

But The Great Wall’s main investor was a chinese group, the Director was Chinese, the film was shot mostly in China, and the cast was almost universally chinese.

So why diid they cast Matt Damon and that other dude? Because they think chinese people need white dudes to save them? Doubfully.

I imagine that they did it because they put 150 million US on a movie, and they know that all Chinese productions rarely break out in the international box office, so they tried to cast some well known american actors to have wider appeal.

That doesn’t bother me.

pkeynufu

Discussing diversity in Hollywood is strange.

On one hand, you often hear that America is very racist, while on the other, it is argued that films with highly diversified casts would be profitable, if only old white men got out of the way.

That sounds incongruous to me. I find it easier to belive that general audiences are ready to speak about diversity, as long as they are not overtly preachy, and they can see some of themselves in them.

As a result, I find some value in movies like “The Great Wall”, a nearly universal chinese film, featuring some white actors in prominent roles. But critics savaged it, in no small part, to repudiate the white saviour complex.

Would it be better if audiences didn’t need white american stars to be interested in foreign films, or films with strong takes on diversity? Yes. But for the time being at least, I don’t know how much appeal they would have.

Perhaps, we should accept that steps in the right direction are good, even if they are baby steps...

homocidalmaniac

It would be grossly amiss for directors not to tell the true stories of a multitude of black heroes. We could have Idi Amin, Emperor Jean-Bedel Bokassa, Milton Obote, Robert Mugabe, Mobutu Sese Seko, Jacob Zuma, Jonas Savimbi and Jose Eduardo dos Santos all playing themselves, to name just a few. The list of Black heroes is endless and what a wealth of information the cinema could convey about their stories of rags to riches and especially how they achieved it: Through diligence, hard work, thrift, a commitment to their communities. True saviours of their people.
If white people were herded into the theatre to watch such cinematic marvels, they would immediately forget their racism and ask God for His forgiveness.
Viva, viva, viva!!!!!!

let freedom ring everywhere

So the author's opinion is that the most critical criterion for quality in film-making is how it handles race. Wind River is mostly about white people working inside a mixed community of or whites and Native Americans and not about Native Americans themselves, and therefore is ineligible for an Academy Award? This is just silly.

Wind River is an excellent movie. It's easy to see why it received critical acclaim. I can't compare it to most other movies because I didn't see most of the contenders, so I can't argue if the academy thought others were better. But to exclude it simply because it was insufficient in promoting actors or characters of color, is not acceptable.

KillingSpree

Jesus Christ, this whole narrative universe is deeply embedded in toxic sjw bullshit.

Read this:

>In this time of racial conflict, white people need to be listening, but they also need to be talking to each other, identifying blind spots and examining prejudices.

You could hardly imagine a less tone-deaf perspective on reality from this thing. I refuse to call it a person. They have obviously lost their humanity from all the navel-gazing they've done, which is the prior cause of such toxic pseudo-intellectual mumbling.

They can't even accept the dissonance between the racial conflict they admit is a natural reality of multiracialism, but then try to burden whites as a whole, whilst pretending not to be racist themselves. This author is a subtle toxin.

Sempervirens

Films and all media must explicitly portray light skinned males in the worst light possible. "Get Out" shows us that even so called "good whites" are bad and racist. "Three billboards" trots out the same old tired "racist cop" trope. In this case he's transformed by a strong female character. The best a male character can aspire to be is gay, then and only then will he be allowed to attain humanity.

Tinseltown's agenda has never been more transparent. That's why movie attendance has plummeted and is not likely to rebound.

A. Andros

It isn't just the movies -- although they get that way, often times, because of novels on which they are based.
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I have always despised "To Kill A Mockingbird" and felt Atticus is a fussy bore -- a sort of gruesome Peter Pan. But, the book is a legend now because it is a whiter person's dream of race relations. (Kipling did the sort of thing for "lesser breeds without the law" when he wrote "White Man's Burden.")
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Harper Lee's treacle had a sort of posthumous career in "The Help," yet another "Makes ya' proud to be white!" production designed for suburban book clubs manned by Caucasian women of leisure.
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(I can stand the occasional nastiness of conservatives. But, the banality of upper middle-class liberal females would gag a buzzard.)
Come to think of it, I am tired of race-heroes of ANY color. I am weary clear through to the bone with sagas of this or that "person of color" who had to fight for his raisins (which lay there in clear sight in the sun.) One of the worst of this genre was, in fact, "Raisin In the Sun," which revolves around the angst of a young black man who embodies in his character virtually every stereotype of an African-American: he is dishonest, a thief, a fool (gulled by an obvious film-flam man) and, finally, a lay-about who runs out on his employer. THAT is a black role model?
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No one here remembers Rex Inghram but the great black American actor played a French-African soldier alongside Humphrey Bogart in "Sahara." His character wasn't inspirational and did not embody the suppressed African-American desire, crushed by the white man, to tool about the desert in an M-3 Grant tank. His character was just a brave, decent soldier. Good enough for government work!

I can't really compare La La Land to Moonlight, because while I was delighted and entertained by La La Land, I still haven't been able to stay awake to see all of Moonlight.

Jazz originated among the descendants of slaves, primarily based on African origins but also incorporating other influences. Well, OK, but so what? Since jazz was started, there have been both black and white and latino musicians who excel at performing jazz and who love it. There is nothing wrong at all with a movie about a white jazz musician. Who, by the way, performed with black musicians.

White people invented basketball, but it was a dying sport until some supremely gifted black athletes attracted widespread attention to it. No one complains about that. Nor should they. Talent is what matters.

New Freetrader

Well, I certainly agree with the article's premise and conclusion, but would probably also add that this trend is exacerbating the separation of the "Oscars" from reality. Whereas the Oscar would formerly go to a popular movie that aspired to some sort of social 'greatness' a la "Lawrence of Arabia", it now goes to films that press all the right lefty cultural buttons but in which a mainstream audience has no interest; which is to say, the market demands that films be 'entertaining' and not just enlightening, no matter what the Academy say.
Also, my agreeing with Prospero's conclusion does not blind me to the magnitude of his or her hypocrisy. The article contained this accurate statement:
"Last year, the seemingly innocuous “La La Land” was the early front-runner for a best-picture Oscar, but after critics complained about the optics of a film in which a white man saves jazz, it lost momentum and eventually the race."
What Prospero fails to mention is the he or she was one of those spewing hate at La La Land, in at least three articles, for its supposedly being 'ecapist', and in contrast to the annointed politically-correct favorite "Moonlight", for having two white, heterosexual protagonists (for shame!). I will leave it to my fellow readers to determine whether Prospero now has some too-late regret about those comments, or if, as seems more likely, she just has an inability to remember her own writing.

In its time, To Kill a Mockingbird was an important step in forcing white people to recognize the harm of their own prejudices. If you despise it now because its focus is on white people, that's your right. I think it still shows the value of personal integrity and courage.

But, it all IS a little troubling.
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For instance, I noticed that "Song of Norway" did not feature a single prominent black character.
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"The Quiet Man," a lyrical story of long-ago Ireland, also did not feature a single major star "of color."
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And, just where were the happy Austrian peasants "of color" in "The Sound of Music?"
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Let's just face facts --- Sister Maria was a rabid racist and "people of color" were not among her favorite things.
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Sad . . . very sad!

guest-loiajio

I prefer that movies get awards on their great filmmaking rather than relevance to cultural issues. La La Land was a hundred times better than Moonlight, and the idea that black people own Jazz is absurd at best. No race owns a music genre, and much less a genre like Jazz that is the result of European and African traditions.

homocidalmaniac in reply to KillingSpree

Read last weeks column by this Prospero? He is naive in the extreme. No doubt a result of his ridiculous politically correct upbringing. Is he from Tower Hamlets? Maybe it was his mother to which the PM at the time, John Major referred: black, one-legged and lesbian?

guest-njssono

For an alternate reality-esque white savior trope, one need to look no further than Basmati Blues. If you don't cringe when watching just the trailer, you probably don't get why this trope is obnoxious.

Realize

White support is still critical in the struggle for darker skinned people to get their human rights. Across Oriental Asia, though maybe less so in White Majority Nations. Orientals still have bad attitudes towards dark skinned people in general and don't honour human rights. Whites are the only ones that can put them in the right direction. Thats when the orientals shut up and do what they have to do. Racism towards Blacks exists in dark skinned India. Again White people need to pressurise Indians towards better protection for Africans living in India. As we saw in the North African, and Persian-Gulf area nothing seems to have changed. Those gentlemen are still very stuck and fascinated by their fair skin, and have an innate contempt for Darker people. Those Muslims are the most dangerous since the Koran and Islam offer no protection towards darker races. All dark skinned people should actively seek White support or least let the Whites know when discrimination takes place. On their own unfortunately, they lack the punch to put the Racist Orientals and fair skinned Muslims in their places. Sorry if I have offended darker people, but reality bites and sucks at the same time. White Hero's will be needed on screen and off screen to tell all racists across Asia and the fair Muslims that they will not tolerate discrimination.

A. Andros in reply to homocidalmaniac

Well, let's tread a little lightly here . . . .
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I am not sure how edifying a bio-pic of, say, Charles Manson, Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Harvey Weinstein, Jack The Ripper or Hillary Clinton might be.
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In fact, of all the human "races," none has, historically, been less violent and more sinned against than sinning than the Africans.
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I would not, as a white person, want to be forced to defend Rosie O'Donnell.