I am not going to talk about the 2019 Oscars-winning supposedly anti-racism film Green Book specifically. While I have heard about the white warrior trope accusations, I haven’t watched the film. Therefore, I cannot talk about it.
But, I can talk about fans of the film, film ethics in general… and a bit about one of its screenwriters.
The fans believe the film deserves its victory because it is heartwarming. That sentiment alone easily reveals two problems.
First of all, how the hell is feel-goodism a sign of merit? I thought we judge films based on how effective their storytellings are, NOT based on how good they are in making us feel good about ourselves and the world we live in.
Second, the film is supposedly about racism and the title itself is based on a series of books that helped black Americans avoiding racist establishments during road trips.
Describing ‘bigotry’ as atrocious is an understatement. Whether you experience or witness it, its existence reminds you about how monstrous the world we live in. If you become aware of your own bigotry (and assuming you thrive to be a decent person), you would be horrified about how much of a monster you were.
Basically, bigotry is NOT heartwarming. When a film about bigotry makes you all warm and fuzzy in the inside, there is something wrong with either how you interpret the film or how the film depicts bigotry.
Either way, for some reasons, you haven’t fully grasped what bigotry actually is. Maybe the protective bubbles haven’t bursted yet.
I am not saying a film about the harshness of reality should not make you feeling warm and fuzzy; I think it is self-righteous to believe so. What I am saying is the warmness should NOT be the only thing you feel.
If such film does have some cheerful moments or ends on a glaringly hopeful note, it should NOT be entirely sweet. Instead, it should be an emotional rollercoaster. It should be bittersweet.
Yes, a socially-charged film can indeed be too good to be true. Ideally, when that feeling
It is one thing to enjoy escapism. But, it is another when the escapism commands us to blur the line between reality and fantasy… and we unquestioningly oblige.
Oh, and I should mention that the main white character in the film, AKA the redeemed racist, is based on a real person… and his son is one of the screenwriters, who was in hot water for believing in an anti-Muslim conspiracy.
Even though he did apologise for it, wouldn’t the combination of his (allegedly past) bigotry and conflict of interest be a concern for fans of the film?
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