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Controversial film set for UK release

The film Blind Slide - slated in the US for its' dubious storyline - is coming here

By Lester Holloway

I couldn’t quite believe my eyes as I watched a trailer for a forthcoming film yesterday, starring Sandra Bullock, which appeared to tell the tale of a rich white family rescuing a poor black young man from destitution.

The Blind Side trailer featured such crass one-liners as an actor telling Bullock: “I think what you’re doing is so great – you’re changing that boy’s life!”

The image on the film's promotional poster

The movie – heading for general release in the UK – is about a large African-American youngster from a broken home who is given a home by a rich white family who help him get an education and become a star football player.

Thankfully there’s already been some critique of the film in America, where it was released last November.

In an article headlined ‘What Would Black People Do Without Nice White Folks’, the Dallas Observer notes:

Blind Side the movie peddles the most insidious kind of racism, one in which whiteys are virtuous saviours, coming to the rescue of blacks who become superfluous in narratives that are supposed to be about them.

The Blind Side’s Michael “Big Mike” Oher (Quinton Aaron) is mute, docile and ever-grateful to the white folks who took him in.

Viewers, however, are constantly reminded of the pathologies the black gentle giant has escaped: the crack-addicted mother, the thugs of the country-ghetto housing project who offer him a 40-ouncer.

Life with benevolent white people gives Michael the golden opportunity to partake in one of the most patronizing, we-are-the-world scenes imaginable.

A complete fist of it

The Huffington Post adds:

The song is called “How to Save a Life,” a title that suggests the trailer’s breathtaking paternalism.

This is the story we’re told: A poor, ignorant, and “innocent” black teenager (IBT) stumbles into the privileged world of white society.

Because he’s so “backwards,” the only white people he can communicate with are small children. And even they know better than he does.

And oh, thank god for the white boy’s kindness, because the IBT’s life is hard! He’s never had his own bed, he’s never gotten much schooling, and the other black people in his life are Mean and Scary and Probably Do Drugs. It’ll take a white kid’s mercy to get him out of this mess.

Do we really need a film like this on general release here? I think not. If the trailer is anything to go by, it threatens to be the worst silver screen offering since Amazing Grace, brought out to coincide with the bicentenary of slavery abolition, where one man (William Wilberforce) was romanticised as the savour of the enslaved, to the exclusion of just about every one else.

Shame on Bullock for participating in such a movie. Her character appears to adopt ‘Big Mike’ as a kind of pet.

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2 Responses

  1. I can imagine the pitch: “Think Fresh Prince of Bel Air meets Different Strokes”. That old pet chestnut. The fist bumps with the little kid and the older lady! From A Time To Kill to this Sandra, wow.

  2. saw this trailer last night and was appalled. But i did wonder whether this film is targetted at an audience who is finding it hard to come to terms with the radical changes we have witnessed in US politics over the last 18 months. The good news is that the latter is real while the former, a mere delusion of someone’s sad imagination.

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