Looking at ‘Lilo & Stitch’ can provide a valuable lens in which to analyze the upcoming ‘Moana,’ as well as other mainstream films attempting to represent Indigenous cultures. … Regardless of its individual merits, ‘Lilo & Stitch’ is a moneymaking endeavor to benefit the Disney Company, which has not always had the best relationship (to say the least) with representing Indigenous cultures or respecting Indigenous peoples.
By forcing the subconscious fears of audiences to the surface, horror cinema evokes reactions psychologically and physically — that is its power. This power can serve and support uncensored Indigenous expression by allowing Indigenous filmmakers the opportunity to unleash dark, unsanitized allegorical representations of the abhorrent, repugnant, violent abomination that is colonization.
In ‘Pocahontas,’ Disney missed an important opportunity to represent Indigenous women in a relatable, empowering way, and instead focused on commodifying their culture for mass-market appeal. … Pocahontas’ life only became a story worth telling when a white man became involved. She only became a princess when a white man recognized her as royalty. She only became the center of a Disney movie because white men realized they could profit off of her myth.
Director Robert Flaherty not only framed Inuit womanhood according to his fantasies of casual sensuality, but according to Euro-American patriarchal fantasy. His portrait of Inuit life is neatly divided between the woman’s role, limited to cleaning igloos and nursing infants, apparently immune to the frustrations of Euro-American women in that role, and the man’s role, leading the band, educating older children, and hunting.
‘The King and I’ promotes colonialist and “white savior” attitudes. … Adding romantic interest to the story, showing King Mongkut as exceedingly admiring of Anna and portraying her influence in the court as more than it was, paints Western values and morals as superior to others, justifying colonialism by making it seem as though Eastern countries “need” the West.
Are depictions of interracial relationships on the rise due to a diminished stigma around interracial dating? How much is colorism still in play? Do the success of shows with racially diverse casts and the growing success of dark-skinned performers mitigate colorism? How do the very real and present ramifications of slavery and colonialism affect these interracial dynamics?
Check out what we’ve been reading this week – and let us know what you’ve been reading/writing in the comments!
Something not often explored in film and TV movie adaptations is that Mina and other female characters are often inadvertently endangered by the pride of the male protagonists. It is out of misguided respect for Mina that the male protagonists try so hard to protect her, and yet fail so miserably.
Unlike most things, injustice appears bigger when it is further away.
The heroic journey of Short Round is the catalyst for both Willie’s and Indy’s own growth and transcendence, as Willie becomes proactive and Indy becomes responsible.
Robert Flaherty not only framed Inuit womanhood according to his fantasies of casual sensuality, but according to Euro-American patriarchal fantasy. His portrait of Inuit life is neatly divided between the woman’s role, limited to cleaning igloos and nursing infants, apparently immune to the frustrations of Euro-American women in that role, and the man’s role, leading the band, educating older children, and hunting.
Chinua Achebe said, “There is that great proverb — that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.”
Reading Fanon, listening to Malcolm X, watching ‘Concerning Violence’–these are just a few ways to hear the lions. When the hunter listens, though, he sees a lion roaring, jaws open wide to bite and kill. The fear sets in. Oppressive control digs its heels back in.