7 Movies That Depict Racial Struggles - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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7 Movies That Depict Racial Struggles

A wound has been festering for a very long time, but recently it feels as if it has now been fully exposed. The anguish, the rage and the frustration that had been seething under the surface have been bought to the forefront, triggered by one shocking incident (itself just one in a long, long line of similar 'incidents') that has taken America by a storm.

“Racism” is often considered a taboo word for civilized society, but for some people this deep rooted discrimination lies coiled in the human psyche ready to strike at any opportune moment. Others freely express their prejudice views, feeling it is their right and privileged to do so. Some world leaders are openly xenophobic, declaring mostly black countries as sh*tholes, and although black nations like Kenya have progressed a lot on the technical front, and many Kenyan online casinos have flourished in the recent years, people around the globe still look down upon them as lessor nations.

For a long time many white celebrities, Hollywood stars, and everyday people around the world have claimed that they are not racist, and occasionally some try to prove the point with a well-meaning gesture, but until now there have been very few who have come out on a global platform and said that they are anti-racist. American author and historian, Ibram X. Kendi has pointed out that one has to understand the power and the policies that support racial inequalities to be anti-racist. This is difficult for those who have not faced the sufferings directly, but watching movies that deal with this topic can shape our imagination and help us to try to comprehend the real life situations many people face purely because they are not white.

The American movie industry has a history of outspoken filmmakers who have portrayed the suffering and vulnerabilities of black people in the hands of oppressive administrations and law-makers, as well as depicting stories of courageous people who have fought for, and achieved, justice through their grit and determination. Here are just a few of these great movies for those who value humanity over racial discrimination.

Selma (2014) portrays the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his steely determination for justice and equal voting rights whilst following the path of non-violence. Starring David Oyelow as the late Dr. King, the film is based the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. The champion of human rights was on a three-month campaign, fraught with dangers, to secure the voting rights of African Americans. His tremendous efforts and sacrifice bore fruit when President Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Director Ava DuVernay touches the heart when he evokes the 16th St. Baptist Church Bombing where four small girls were killed, and through the inspiring words of Dr. King, when he speaks about those lost ones whose deaths paved the path of his struggle.

Selma is inspiring, particularly in times when racial strife is raging, and accurately portrays Dr. King’s determination and mental strength to refuse to bend to the pressures of the powers that be, even in the face of danger to his life.

Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
“Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?'' (2017) is a documentary by the filmmaker Travis Wilkerson. He set out to investigate the truth behind a family sore that had been gnawing away at his heart.

Wilkerson’s family had a racist past. His great grandfather had once shot and killed a black man in 1946 in Alabama. Wilkerson went there and reconstructed the story scene by scene through innumerable interviews, photos and confessions. The shame, frustration and anguish of Wilkerson on account of his family’s racist past which runs through this documentary is captivating and disturbing.

This is indeed a bold and honest film.

Loving (2017) tells the real life story rof an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, in the late 1950s and 60s. At that time interracial marriage was illegal in their home state of Virginia, so the coupled travelled to Washington D.C to get married. However, they were arrested and were banned from returning home.

This film is a tale of love and perseverance as the couple face racial discrimination. Mildred fought for justice and her letter to Robert F. Kennedy asking for help aroused country-wide interest in their case.

Loving is another inspiring film, one which shows that the pressure of discriminatory forces has to eventually give in to a determined fight for truth. The Lovings finally get justice as the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision ends the country’s last segregation laws.

Get Out 
This 2017 movie is of a different tone to the others mentioned so far. Director Jordan Peele weaves a satirical horror centering on a young African American man named Chris and his girlfriend Rose. The couple’s journey to Rose’s parental home leads to a series of eerie and sinister experiences.

The inherent message Get Out intends to deliver is that racism sometimes is projected as a mere opinion and is harmless, but behind that lurks much more horrifying deep-rooted and blatant prejudice. What starts with racism in a simple way, turns to a scary matter with a touch of gallows humor.

The Hate U Give
2018's The Hate U Give is an adaptation of Angie Thomas’s Y.A. novel of the same name. Starring Amandia Stenberg as Starr Carter, the movie’s central character, it is a social drama and the story of a young girl who is at the crossroads of adulthood. Facing the conflicts of an ordinary American black family which are unimaginable to your averagre white family.

The film starts with Starr talking about how her father told her and her siblings to behave if stopped by a police officer so that the officer does not find an excuse to shoot. Ironically, Starr witnesses a white police officer shoot down her friend on the pretext that he moved his hand to reach out for, what was, a hairbrush.

If Beale Street Could Talk
If Beale Street Could Talk is a 219 adaptation of James Baldwin’s 1974 novel set in Harlem. Framed as a black American Love story against the backdrop of racism, police brutality.

The story weaves around stark realities of prejudice and racial oppression, entwined with pure and ethereal love. Directed by Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk follows a young woman who, with her family's support, seeks to clear the name of her wrongly charged lover and prove his innocence before the birth of their child.

Hale County This Morning, This Evening
A lyrical documentary, one which is almost like a beautiful painting, 2018's Hale County This Morning, This Evening foregoes traditional linear storytelling as it follows various inhabitants of Hale County in Alabama's Black Belt.

Director RaMell Ross clearly ad a definite goal in mind, which is explicit in the film. He wanted to redefine the screen image of the black American and does so with this intimate picture of a community.

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