Saturday, October 6, 2012

"A Time to Kill"

Watched the Matthew McConaughey & Sandra Bullock film entitled, ”A Time To Kill” about the rape of a small Black child by two white racists in the southern state of Mississippi. McConaughey plays the lawyer defending the girl’s father (played by Samuel L. Jackson) who takes matters into his own hands & murders the two rapists. Beside glorifying vigilantism, all of the Black characters are cowering & sentimentalized, including Jackson who is normally a powerful actor even when standing on a stage mute; all the white characters are forceful & dramatic. If you don’t notice the blatant paternalism & racism toward Blacks, the film can seem a strong statement of justice, fraternity, equality--of civil rights versus Jim Crow injustice. But that “if” covers a multitude of racist rubbish.

Regrettably, the fine actress, Sandra Bullock has become the modern queen of this repugnant genre of whites saving Blacks--first in this film & then in “The Blind Side”. Mark Twain, the remarkable & quintessential American satiric writer, is the originator of the genre, beginning with his acclaimed but controversial novel, “Huckleberry Finn.” Neither in literature nor in cinema are Blacks portrayed--nor are they politically accepted as agents of their own social & political transformation. Rather than watching rubbish like “A Time To Kill” where white people save pitiful Black people, we need to read the writings of Malcolm X who understood that without Blacks leading the struggle, there will be no social transformation of any kind--for whites or for Blacks.

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