Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The Latest Protest: Blindness
I expected Tropic Thunder to get blasted for Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of an actor in black face but instead it was protested against for its use of the word “retarded” and the character of Simple Jack. There was a point to all of this in the film – to show Hollywood’s insensitivity – and yet it was ignored by the people protesting.
The same thing happened with Dogma; religious groups protested in droves against the abuse of religion and the Catholic church in the movie. The protests went on for months about how it was blasphemous, sacrilegious, Kevin Smith was going to hell, etc. The thing is if you actually sat and watched the film Kevin Smith actually put a message in there – he wanted to audience to take religion and God seriously.
Back to my original point; to some degree I expect this kind of backlash against satire’s because for some reason people don’t understand the point of satire . What I did not expect was for a protest to start against Fernando Meirelles’ new film Blindness. You can read the CNN.com article here; the protest surrounds the use of the blind in the film and how they are portrayed.
I have not seen Blindness yet as it is not in the theatre, but from what I understand it is a film about a town where all except one miraculously go blind and the government tries to cover the situation up. The blindness is a metaphor and the genre is a sci-fi/mystery.
Can people just chill out and calm down before they jump to conclusions? I am a firm believer in watching a film and taking it in context before making my decision about a films message. Some movies deliver messages well, some don’t. Films like Crash, Babel, The Happening, The Mist and a score of other movies delivered their message badly and obnoxiously; however, there are movies like Children of Men, The Fountain, Night of the Living Dead and City of God (Meirelles last film) that deliver their messages in excellent and thought provoking ways, usually using metaphors.
All I’m saying is give a movie a chance people. I’ll get off my soap box now and return it to its regular position.