On Viewing Films By Demographic

Thursday, September 03, 2009

A few days ago I linked up to this post down at youoffendmeyouoffendmyfamily talking about the recent protests of the film The Goods: Live Hard Sell Hard as well as who's responsible for creating a market for Asian American film and there've been some interesting posts on it lately like one down at The Angry Black Woman:

...it assumes something that I’m not sure is true, and feeds into a bigger problem. What Phillip suggests is that if Asian Americans just go and view more Asian American films, this will show Hollywood there’s a significant demand for positive portrayals. The same reasoning, IMO, underlies African Americans’ patronization of black films (and African American Interest books, and so on) — we’ve taken to heart the racist rationalization that if we don’t make it ourselves, and go see it ourselves, we can’t expect the mainstream to follow suit.

Except… African Americans have been making it ourselves, since the Sixties. We’ve been going to see those films, too, enough to create several blockbusters, catapult several African American filmmakers to auteur status, and launch a few subcultural film/theater movements.

But has all this success — all this proof that we will support our own — really changed anything in Hollywood? We’re still getting slapped in the face with grotesque stereotypes, and “allegories” for the black experience of racism that Fail miserably.
I definitely get the fact that sometimes it's the community itself that has to get the word out - DIY style - but I agree we shouldn't - and can't be - the only ones.

It's like educating people on race as an Asian American and a POC - at some point other people need to take their own responsibility to get educated. Just like we can't always be the teachers, we also shouldn't be the only ones who buy a ticket to a film that has an Asian American lead.

In reality though does it not happen until the API community - en masse - supports a film with people whole look like us to the tune of $100 million in box office receipts?

That I don't know.