Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My Rosewood, and my other films

Years ago, my mother saw the John Singleton film "Rosewood", which I, unfortunately, still have not brought myself to see. I don't remember her recount of the plot very well, but essentially the black residents of Rosewood feel forced to violently confront the oppressive white people nearby. After seeing the film, my mother said she left, feeling a rage against white people.

Well, in the last two weeks, I think I might have found my own Rosewood. With the Oscars being won at the end of the month, I am going through my annual ritual of desperately trying to see all Oscar nominated films -- by my count, 19 films. You can see which films I've seen and not seen:

Films seen
The Departed
The Last King of Scotland
Blood Diamond
Notes on a Scandal
United 93
The Devil Wears Prada
Little Miss Sunshine

Films not seen
Little Children
Pan's Labyrinth
The Queen
Children of Men
The Pursuit of Happyness
Letters from Iwo Jima
Half Nelson

I won't be able to see three of the films (Little Children; Children of Men; The Queen) and might not see a further film (Pan's Labyrinth). The last 6 films I've seen have been in the last two weeks. The two that were the most disturbing to me were The Last King of Scotland and Blood Diamond. Both films had a helluva lot of violence, but I'm no prude. I know that it had to be shown to tell the story properly. It still depresses me though.

Both of these films are set in Africa, but the protagonists are white. I know, I know -- that's the point of The Last King of Scotland. But Dr Nicholas Garrigan is a composite character and many people gained Idi Amin's trust in the same way, including black people. Also, the violence that both films depict -- though showing the horrors of black-on-black violence (which, I don't know about you, I've seen plenty of) -- is ultimately rooted in white colonialism. It's enough to send anyone into a Rosewood rage. I hope Boy's not too scared.

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Blogger atw said...

yeah, and i thought it was interesting that djimon hounsou's nomination was for supporting actor when his character is actually the main character.

my friend and i were just talking about this African Turmoil Rooted in White Colonialism the other day. we wish people would get this. the west seems to think that we're the great white hope with all our aid and concern and love of justice-slash-democracy. but no one acknowledges that the issues/problems of many of the 'less-developed' parts of the continent stem from european injustice. perhaps that's why we're feeling really unsettled that our church is going to be 'partnering' with a village in 'africa' (kenya, really)...(most of our church is white)... it's why my mom and i were just realizing the other day that we both feel the same way whenever we see a photo of lots of 3rd world black kids w/ a white person in the middle of the happy crowd. even when we like the white person and know they're good people.

Thursday, 15 February 2007 at 06:07:00 GMT  
Blogger Autumn said...

Yes, yes my sister. It is really annoying to see those pictures as well. The white person be hugging the crowd of black children as well. What do they do, hire these kids? It leaves a rather unsavoury feeling in my mouth as it seems really undignified. For the black people.

Thursday, 15 February 2007 at 08:30:00 GMT  
Blogger Zandra Towns said...

The town of Rosewood was an actual place. The neighboring white town in a fit of rage, mostly due to a simmering jealousy that Rosewood was slightly more affuent, burned the town to the ground and hung alot of the residents from the trees. That's why Mahated white people at the end of the movie.

Did Notes on a Scandal freak you out? It freaked me out! Judie Dench was SOOOOO CREEPY!!!I got actual chills watching and listening to her. I hope she wins.

Friday, 16 February 2007 at 02:26:00 GMT  

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