Talking about racism, sexism, social inequalities in a film is very good. To speak badly of it is less good. These films are the perfect illustration. Sometimes they’re films that are horribly bad and which we had no doubt about the fact that they were off the mark, sometimes they’re films that aren’t so bad but which nevertheless missed their subject. 8/20 in the scenario tray because off topic.
1. The color of feelings
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Although the film received good reviews, it was also strongly singled out, in particular by activists from the Black Lives Matter movement. Why ? The film tells the story of a young white woman who literally plays the role of savior for these African-American housekeepers. Typical cliche of the “white savior” of which American films are very fond and which poses blacks as passive victims, waiting for a beautiful white soul to finally consider them as their equal. Touching.
2. What have we done to God?
What a good idea to denounce racism and prejudice with a film that is based only on clichés! Bourgeois parents with an old-France vibe take a lot when their three daughters have the good taste to bring them a Muslim, a Jew, a Chinese and… a Black. But what a fucking mess! The real question is rather to wonder if this film had at any time the ambition to denounce racism.
3. With open arms
Coincidentally the director of What the hell have we done? gave us another masterpiece that seems to be made from the same wood. A left-wing nerd gets caught at his own game by saying on TV that the rich should welcome the poor into their homes. It was enough for a family of Roma landed in this paragon left caviar. Obviously it’s not going very well. Racist cliche after racist cliche. Horror all the way.
4. If I were a man
AIE Aie Aie. Why aren’t we more wary of Audrey Dana’s scenarios? The pitch is nonetheless eloquent. A woman wakes up with a dick as if by magic. Everything is going well until one of her colleagues falls in love with her. Suffice to say that we gallop with big hooves on a very slippery subject: transexuality. The poster announced the color well and the film confirms our worst fears.
If Steven Spielberg’s film is about the rebellion of a slave ship inspired by real events, the few liberties he took with the real story do not do the film justice. He is thus criticized for having created “white heroes” in particular with the character of John Quincy Adams who was certainly anti-slavery but not to this point either, the line has been enlarged a little to make it more “heroic”. And the film misses its subject at the same time. This is what happens when you make films that change the facts on which they are based.
6. Under Girls Skirts
Oh well, a film by whom? Audrey Dana AGAIN. Under cover of cardboard feminism, the film is a purge for the fairer sex summarized here by an accumulation of crappy clichés. Really ugly.
7. Agathe Clery
Denouncing racism by making up a racist bourgeois with blackface was a touchy bet for Etienne Chatiliez. We love Valérie Lemercier huh. We understood that all of this was to be taken literally. But if the subject was to talk about racism by showing a story where all white people are ugly and stupid and all black people are beautiful and perfect, we can say that it lacks a bit of subtlety.
This Disney is overall a big mytho much more racist than it seems. First in the real story, John Smith is 28 years old when he meets Pocahontas, who is only 11 years old. Even if Disney puts this info aside to make Pocahontas an 18-year-old young woman and John Smith a handsome kid with a charming smile…
Not to mention that if John Smith plays mechanics to seduce the Powhatan, it is above all that he himself is attracted to his land. In short, in fact the love story between Pocahontas and John Smith is supposed to embody the history of the United States except that suddenly, OOPS, it puts aside all the little slightly genocidal phase of this part of history.
9. Marry Me Buddy
Tarek Boudali’s film caused controversy upon its release and for good reason. A Moroccan student in trouble makes a sham marriage with his best friend to regularize his situation, except an inspector comes to check that the two lads are indeed in a relationship… And it’s off for a feast of stereotypes on homosexuality. The couple sends back the caricatural image of two ultra-sexualized gays who only think about ass. So obviously, it’s not phew.
We may love the filmo of Nakache and Toledano and recognize the phenomenal success of this film. Nevertheless, all these good feelings deliver in good and due form a simplistic, even erroneous vision of the confrontation of classes. I quote here Jay Weissberg’s review for Variety which sums up the problem better than anyone: “Driss is treated like a monkey (with all the racist connotations that go with that term) putting on a show, teaching the stuck up white guy how to let go, replacing Vivaldi with Boogie Wonderland […] ». Before accusing role of being “a cliché of the slave of yesteryear, who amuses his master while representing all the stereotypes of class and race… […] Intouchables could seduce a public that does not think too much, all in a detestable atmosphere. » It’s violent but not totally false.
11. All rape and revenge movie
A sub-genre of horror film that can be summed up more or less like this: a woman is raped in abominable conditions (in certain cases like The Nightingale, the rapists also kill the guy of the girl and crush her baby against a wall, too cute). Following her survival, she will spend the rest of the film tracking down her executioners to kill them properly one by one at the turn of ultra violent scenes.
Admittedly, this kind of film must be taken as a nanar delirium. But it would be wrong to take them for feminist films when, in a way, they rather reflect the culture of rape. And like, Promising Young Woman had at least the good idea to twist the blow to the classic format of these films (even if in the background there is also to complain about the script which depicts a world where 100% of men are rapists in the making).