“12 Years a Slave” and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

Speaking of the fascinating Lupita Nyong’o, she gave an amazing performance in “12 Years a Slave.” I can see why she is getting major Oscar buzz.  It took me a minute to see this film..I was very excited when I first heard about it. But as usual, I got busy and had to put it on the back burner. I also had mixed emotions about seeing the film after reading a scathing review about it   (Armond White’s “Dud of the Week: 12 Years a Slave”).  I think he just recently heckled the director…lol.

I understand where he was coming from

The portrayal of slavery in films can be a very thin line. Of course, you want the violence/brutality shown, as it was the reality of being a slave under white supremacy. But, when does it goes from showing truth to just becoming exploitative/ torture porn? Black women’s bodies are always degraded in the media. We are constantly mocked, abused, beaten, and battered. I understand that it was important to show what happened to black women during slavery via the character Patsy (played by Nyong’o).

Actually, what I loved about the film was that is showed white women were just as culpable/cruel slave masters. I loved those parts of the film, as many white feminists like to create revisionary history of an imagery sisterhood between black women and white women during slavery (rolls eyes). So, much props for the director showing that. BUT, I did feel uncomfortable that the main black female character was only portrayed as beaten victim. I am still waiting patiently for the film that shows the rebellion of black women slaves (e.g. Harriet Tubman). And for God’s sake, please don’t let that goofball/black woman-hater Russell Simmons direct it. Blah….

Otherwise, I recommend this film just on the fact it did try to show day-to-day life of being a slave.  I liked that it showed the monotony of slavery. You woke up, picked cotton, probably got abused in some kind of way, got feed scraps, and went to bed. You woke up and did it all over again the next day.  For the rest of your life. Damn. Black folks must never forget this, and always give honor to our ancestors who suffered for us to be here.

twelve-years-a-slave02
Our white sister…

****

I haven’t read The Hunger Game books. I was surprised to learn the books were for young adults.  I always tease my best friend because she loves reading young adult literature. She claims they have the best stories. Hell, I guess she’s right, because I love The Hunger Games movies. I caught the second film in the series “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” during the holidays. I actually thought it was better than the first film. I liked the fact this film had a few more folks of color in it. This has been my one beef with the films/all future based films. I don’t know how futuristic films barely to never having folks of color in them. It’s a fact that folks of color will dominate the United States, much sooner than later. So, I never understand why main characters in sci-fi films are usually white. As a matter of fact, there has been controversy over the portrayal of Katniss. I won’t even get into the hostility/racism that was spewed at Amandla Stenberg (who played Rue), as many white fans didn’t want the character to be black.    

Yeah, well f*ck you too…

The second film still lacked badass black women in it. I’m hoping they get it together for the third film. I want to see some tough women of color fighting in the revolution!

Rue-District 11
Rue-District 11

Advertisements

Harriet Tubman Sex Tape “Comedy”

I’ve been side-eyeing hustle Russell Simmons since he appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show Back in 2009, Oprah facilitated a “Hip Hop Town Hall,” on her show.  Young black women from Spelman college, shared their concerns about the misogyny/sexism/degradation of black women’s bodies in some rap music and videos. Throughout the show, Simmons often rolled his eyes at the young women and outright talked down to them. I found it interesting, as he probably would get major attitude if someone treated his nieces the same way. But hey, those young black women weren’t related to him, so why should he give a damn?

Over the years, Simmons has shown himself to be sexist and anti-black woman. I don’t care about interracial relationships, I really don’t. However, I have issues with SOME black men who continue to harp on the failings of black women, when they have supposedly moved on to “greener pastures.” If you finally found a “real woman,” why are you still complaining about black women? Simmons has engaged in this behavior in subtle ways. His most blatant disrespect of black women/community, was his silence when a past white girlfriend engaged in paternalistic/patronizing/Miss Anne behavior in a  wack letter to black folks (really black women). *Middle Finger*

I could write several posts about Simmons’s Rush Card and the predatory fees on poor communities of color. So, I’m not surprised he co-signed this insulating imagery of Harriet Tubman. But that’s what happens when you think your money/power makes you a “special” black person. You start to lack respect for the people who paved the way for you…