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Entries in Lenny Kravitz (1)

Wednesday
Mar282012

Amandla Stenberg is Adorable and What We Can Learn from Rue - Related Hunger Games Racism

I was going to write a post about coping skills for  readers who have a problem with me calling out foolishness when I see it, but instead you get a Hunger Games post!

Right now I'm sure those of you with delicate sensibilities are glad that my screenplay got selected by my classmates as one of the two films we will produce this semester- so I'll take that as ANOTHER sign pushing me out the door here. Not to mention I finished my first 10K on Sunday, even made the local news, in a time 20 minutes less than my personal goal. Yay me! You don't have to say amen, I'll say it for myself :) Woot! Woot!

Joy= the ultimate snark killer. 

So we temporarily pause this week's edition of The Blogmother vs The Sisterhood of Traveling Rants to focus on more important things.

You know, like fans of the Hunger Games books being  disappointed that the character Rue was a Black girl. They are also mad that Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) and Thresh (Dayo Okeniy)are Black as well. By the by, I am loving Lenny Kravitz's acting choices. He's picking roles well within his range and doing a nice transition from singer to actor. 

 I won't spoil the movie too much. 24 children thrown into an arena and forced to fight to the death while the world watches. I got the allegory with the ravages of war, some people didn't. I WOULD NOT let my child watch the movie... they'd have to sneak in without me knowing. It's gory and I don' t know if children get the symbolism or the "message." They just see what they do in video games play out on screen. Hacking shooting, killing and sanitized death with blood droplets.

Anyhow, the character Rue is a central figure in the plot of the movie, and I would say the entire trilogy. I won't say why.

Anywhoo, Twitter, the raw sewer of public discourse, was the home of a flurry of angry tweets from people who didn't realize that Rue was a Black girl. You can read a Tumblr blog dedicated to capturing the racist Hunger Games Tweets in  response to Rue's casting. 

Many of the tweets are peppered with racial slurs.

One particularly shocking tweet reads: "Sense when has Rue been a nigger."

Another alluding to Rue's untimely death reads: "call me racist but when i found out rue was black her death wasn't as sad #ihatemyself." Chicago Trib

What's also important to remember is that there are equally compelling anecdotes about entire theatres full of people gasping when Rue experiences a particular hardship in the movie- again, I won't spoil it for you if you haven't seen it. If you don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now.  ***SPOILER ALERT***

So what have we learned?

A) Racism still exists! (I'm shocked!) but more important...

B) There is an audience of people who will invest in the life and care deeply about an African American girl character.

Rue's death provoked some of the most audible and sustained gasps I've ever heard in the packed, midtown NYC screening I attended. Press Play 

An on Thresh avenging Rue's death by breaking one of the fundamental rules of the game:

At the screening I attended (which included general viewers along with critics), the audience erupted with cheers when Thresh let Katniss (who had previously saved Rue’s life) escape, saying, “Just this once, Twelve. For Rue.” (In the novel, he says, “Just this one time, I let you go. For the little girl.”) Both the book and the movie suggest a sort of ethnic solidarity that even trumps the rules of the “game,” and I suspect that this, rather than the mere casting, is what freaked out some racist viewers. New Yorker

I would suggest you focus on B.  B means that there is hope that stories featuring Black women and girls as characters could be "four quadrant" movies if a filmmaker figures out a way for audiences to connect with those characters. . . to the tune of $200 million dollars. I'll take 15% of $200mil. anyday. 

As for the movie, Jennifer Lawrence owed the role of Katniss. I agree with critics of the director and his camera movements and editing style. I'm not a fan of blood and gore so watching what happens at the cornucopia in the beginning of the competition is gory and I just covered  my eyes completely during the final chase scene. 

I can't wait for Pixar's Brave and more importantly, your/my films featuring little Black girls in the lead of four quadrant action adventure movies. After the reception of my script by my classmates, I got a great confidence boost.  I don't only amuse myself, but other people find me quite hilarious. Who knew? My film will debut on May 12 at oneo f the local movie chains. How cool is that?

Script Frenzy starts this weekend! Woot! Woot! In honor of the savage attacks on fat Black women launched by the sisterhood of traveling rants guess which character won the prize of getting their own feature length screenplay this April? Here's a hint :)