Tuesday, November 10, 2009

White people 'saving' people of color in films  

This is a trailer for a new movie coming out, called "The Blind Side."

This is a concept that has been covered by quite a few films: the privileged white person coming in and fixing the lives of Black and Hispanic kids. It's been seen in both "Dangerous Minds" and "Freedom Writers" and has been parodied in "High School High" (whether it was parodied tastefully or not is another story).

What does everyone think of Hollywood's obsession with these types of movies? Are they positive and inspirational, or stereotypical and offensive? I think it's an interesting and important debate to have, especially since it seems like these kinds of films aren't dying out anytime soon. Gimme your two cents.

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13 comments: to “ White people 'saving' people of color in films

  • November 10, 2009 at 3:28 PM  

    I dunno. The real story is touching; the ignorant white lady ends up learning that life is alot more complex, and she's alot more powerful than she thought. That's something I can get behind.

    Even Fresh Prince is about a kid being saved. So it's a compelling classist drama, either way it comes out.

    Personally, I don't usually watch these movies, and prefer to think of them in positive terms.

    Else it'd be really depressing.

  • November 10, 2009 at 9:45 PM  

    i thought the same thing when i first saw the trailer. ugh.

  • November 10, 2009 at 9:52 PM  

    Thank you! All my friends thought I was crazy, "It's a touching story!" Touching story indeed. White person saves the ignorant helpless black kid is not a touching story it's a racist one.

  • November 11, 2009 at 9:24 AM  

    Well, as it's a true story, we can't say it's a racist movie, but a racist story. I only see two people helping one another, but maybe that's just me...

  • November 11, 2009 at 4:33 PM  

    I've actually been thinking about this for a while. I'd prefer to think about it it terms of someone with more helping someone with less. I guess it's racist, but it just as easily could've been a well-off black (or white, for that matter) woman helping a poor, "stupid" white kid and it still would've pulled at my heartstrings. I can more easily get behind it being classist because of the obvious class disparity, but racist? Not as much.

    Think of it this way. Is it better that we have these kinds of stories (like Freedom Writers, etc.) or would it be worse if "the white people" just didn't bother helping people who they saw as in need. The kid in this movie needed and wanted help. It wasn't like she was trying to convert him to Christianity or something (that I know of) and was trying to "save the heathen"...

    I don't know. I just think it's more complicated than just "this is racist/classist" or "this is just fine."

  • November 11, 2009 at 5:44 PM  

    Right Viannah, you make good points. Actually, in the movie "Deliverance," it is a Hispanic teacher helping black and Hispanic students.

  • November 24, 2009 at 11:31 AM  

    I actually went and saw this last night - a very touching story.

    One of the things that I liked best about it was that the movie actually addressed some issues that might arise from such situations, as well as how this boy wasn't a stereotypical person at all.

    In some other movies, they have characters who are stereotypical 'gangsta' boys who learn how to read and write - this boy was just smart and needed someone to take an interest in him.

    It was a very good story and I think you should probably go see it before writing it off, despite the fact that it is a white person helping a black person - the movie really takes it beyond a charity case.

  • January 24, 2010 at 7:50 PM  

    I actually really enjoyed this movie. I don't think this comes off as racist or discriminating. It's based on a true story, it was meant to be somewhat inspirational or eye opening.

    However, I understand where some of you are coming from. This movie, in my opinion, would have the same effect if the characters were to reverse roles. Meaning, the "color people save the white people."

    I think the most important thing that people should get from this movie is that a helping hand can be life changing to someone who needs it.

  • March 7, 2010 at 3:54 PM  

    I see it as racist myself. The reason being, you hardly ever see a movie about a black man/woman offering charity to a white person. In fact, I can't even think of one. It's usually the black person who needs help and it only reinforces white people's superior opinion of themselves. Yes, a lot of these types of movies are based on true stories, but I know for a fact that there are true stories out there of black people helping white people. Who's making the movie about them? No one, because it goes against what society would like you to believe, that minorities need saving and whites are the only ones that can save them.

  • April 27, 2010 at 12:06 AM  

    First of all this a TRUE story about real people and real lives so to label it as a movie coming out of Hollywood is absurd. Everyone who i have talked to about this movie has enjoyed it and found it to be a great and motivational movie. To only look at is a white woman "saving" a black boy is closed minded and ignorant. And quite frankely sad that you can't look past the face value of it to what is truly trying to be said. This is a woman and a family who took someone in who was down and out and need help, his life was forever changed for the better. People need to focus on that aspect of it and the amazingness of this story. I mean how many people out there could say that they could actually do something like this...not many.

  • July 27, 2011 at 11:11 AM  

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  • July 27, 2011 at 11:14 AM  

    Wow, this is the most amazing story I've ever seen. My brother was homeless when my dad found him and took him in. He was only 12. He is now 26 and a archaeologist. This movie is just purely amazing Real Estate in Vietnam

  • November 18, 2011 at 10:49 AM  

    All American movies put the white people like saviors, no matter the genre, at the end is always the white people who made every thing right.