1. Films to Rent at Your Local Video Store
The following films explore the ways that whiteness as a racial concept has been represented in American films over the past half-century: Imitation of Life (1959), To Kill A Mockingbird (1962), The Watermelon Man (1970), White Dog (1982), Hairspray (1989), Dances With Wolves (1990), The Celluloid Closet (1996), Bamboozled (2000), Far From Heaven (2002), Crash (2005). They deal with white attitudes, sensibilities, and behavior in relation to such issues as racial purity, interracial love, economic class, masculinity, power, and racial prejudice.
Watch one of the listed movies and write a 2-3 paragraph observation paper (not a review) about how the film relates to the themes of this class and answer the following questions:
• Is the main character white or nonwhite?
• What role does the main character play?
• What does the main character look like?
• To which racial/cultural/socioeconomic class does the main
• What clothes does the main character wear?
• What kinds of things does the main character say?
• What do others think of the main character?
• What does he/she think of himself/herself?
• What do you think of the main character?
• Are any of the characters in the movie nonwhite? What kinds of
roles do they play?
• Are stereotypes used in the movie? If yes, describe.
• Do you think that any groups are misrepresented? Explain.
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