17 June 2009 | stephenhow
Will reinforce all your beliefs on race
From the opening credits, this movie made me cringe at almost every scene. The movie centers around a racial incident on the campus of a fictional small rural Vermont college. Of course the college stands in as a symbol of a majority White community, and the racial incident unavoidably escalates into a small media frenzy. Thus the stage is set for all the players to act and reveal their views on the issue of race. Of course the viewer immediately sees through the "characters", and starts interpreting the views of the writers and producers themselves. That's the whole issue about race: people are very aware of the differences between their views and other people's views about it. So, as the story unfolds and more and more stereotypes about race and stereotypical reactions to race are paraded out, I asked myself, who does this movie serve? Who does this movie not offend? It was obvious the script tries to represent both sides of the fence, in an "equal-time" manner. Amazingly enough, they even voiced the politically incorrect side, in a qualified way. Everyone in the movie is a caricature of their race. Largely, though not entirely predictable as you watch it, it still fits the stereotype of how race is allowed to be discussed in film. But ultimately, outside any moral of "racism is inevitable", or "racism is bad", the film makes no point itself. Sure, it might succeed on the level about getting "people to talk about race", but as the movie shows, why is that such a great idea?