Mar. 29th, 2012

yeloson: (Default)
It's been a week since I saw the movie, and I've been thinking more about it, as other folks have been talking about it, plus all the stuff in the media going on in general. Especially around race, gender, etc.

So, the thing I really liked about the movie was the way in which the Capital's society clearly devalues life outside of it's happy, privileged existence, and the entitled expectation that people should be happy, even grateful to die for the sake of entertaining their betters. The uncomfortable false romance at end was really a perfect note to highlight the ways people have to make survival choices - you live, but you don't get to keep your truth or identity, and that's a luxury you can't afford. (Also reflected with Cinna and Haymitch's roles in the Capital...).

Anyway, the things I didn't like about the movie was Rue's role as the Magical Negro, and how Thresh basically fulfills the Scary Black Brute role in the matter of 10 seconds.

And it's really just occurred to me - what it says that a story that dissects how privilege eats lives and identities, demands people fulfill unrealistic roles just to be allowed to live (or perhaps, die differently) and at the same time, the movie itself is playing out JUST those roles.

Mainstream America can see it's wrong for Katniss to be forced into false roles for the entertainment of the privileged, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME the only reason Rue, Thresh, or Cinna get to be in characters in this film is the fact that they help the white girl - in a meta sense, the very thing that is crushing to the white protagonist is unremarked, even normalized as required narrative, for the black characters.

Even then, we see backlash from white fandom, as even those roles were too much blackness even then, too many seconds of precious film, too many heartbeats of empathy given, to a characters who ultimately only exist in a narrative sense (as far as the film is concerned) to be aids to the white girl.

I still enjoyed the movie, but it really makes it an interesting thing to consider when you pull back and think about it.

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yeloson

November 2012

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