Films Exploring Prejudice

The movie industry has recently found a trend of promoting African-American cinema, either through the Oscars or general movie plots.  From the latest version of Birth of a Nation to Fences and the Academy Award nominated documentary 13th, movies with a theme of racism have gained popularity.  However, while those movies center on general struggles of being an African-American, the film Get Out entertains its audience while bringing to light the “Black” perspective.

The protagonist, Chris, goes on a vacation with his Caucasian girlfriend to visit her parents. While there, he quickly learns he is part of a scheme to kidnap and brainwash certain Black people. Racism is a topic that should be discussed and by adding a perspective through movies, the subject becomes prevalent. Because the topic becomes discussed, racist ideals become exposed. As a result, people are able to understand the immorality of racism.


 “It is important to understand the discrimination that is ingrained in today’s world.” — Elvira Pulitano,

Shooting some scenes through a first person lens, director Jordan Peele applies his own experience to accentuate conflicts faced by the protagonist, Chris. Being an African-American himself, Peele created this movie to explain the struggle of being Black in a culturally White-dominant community.  From the dialogue to the characters’ body language, Peele explores modern prejudice through the movie screen.  For example, Chris is treated with stereotypical slurs and handshakes from his girlfriend’s father in an effort to connect. Shot in a way to make the scene awkward, Peele uses the girlfriend’s father as an example of someone being unintentionally racist. Through his efforts to connect with Chris, the father enlists stereotypes so he can “fit in” with his Black guest, only creating greater divide between race. Although the scene is funny, Peele is purposefully satirizing this sort of interaction.

The storyline of Get Out also relates to the theme centralized in the documentary 13th: modern-day slavery. Peele’s film brings to light the idea of slavery by brainwashing Blacks into servitude, whereas 13th timelines slavery through events leading to the mass incarceration of African-Americans. Even though the forms of slavery are different, both films emphasize the manipulation of Blacks in American society.


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Information courtesy of Box Office Mojo. Used with permission


Get Out has garnered high ratings and a box office profit of over $150 million, suggesting that more people are interested in movies focusing on race. People may watch Get Out for a source of entertainment, but they will gain a greater sense of modern day racism. As a result, a greater amount of people will become aware of the subject.

 

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