Friday, January 29, 2010

The 50 Most Racist Movies (You didn't think were racist)

Here's an interesting article in Complex Magazine about the 50 Most Racist Movies that you didn't think were racist.  Although I would have to disagree with many of the selections, there are some here that I have been crying foul for some time now. Take particular note of the following:

#32: "Dragonball Evolution": an example of the common Hollywood practice of turning Asian characters white.
#30: "Twenty-one": another example of how Asian characters are turned white.
#26: "The Last Samurai": I actually really like this movie because the action and plot are so good ... but it's one of dozens (maybe hundreds) of movies where white guy saves the day among non-whites. While this sort of premise is common, this movie takes it to the next level by having a white guy be the last samurai and the only person who could save Japan ... a country that invented the samurai.
#16: "The Gods Must Be Crazy": a humorous and lighthearted short film, but it basically insults the intelligence of black people.
#5: "Sixteen Candles:" anyone who loves 80's movies will remember the crazy exchange student, Long Duk Dong.  I have been told by many Asians who came of age in the 80's that Long Duk Dong became the bane of their existence.
#1: "Breakfast at Tiffany's": I'm too young to have ever seen this movie but you gotta see the scene of the crazy Japanese guy.

1 comment:

  1. Quick point in defense of The Last Samurai. It is actually loosely based on history. Very loosely as Tom Cruise's character was based on a combination of several people, largely a Frenchman name Jules Brunet. Also inaccurate because both sides hired western military advisers and made attempts to utilize modern weaponry. So it was really more a straight up civil war and less a tradition vs modernization war than the movie makes it out to be, but westerners did show up and get pretty invested in the conflict, some actually donning samurai clothing. I don't think they butcher the history more than many historical pieces though. I thought Ken Watanabe's character, or his people were more the last samurai than Tom Cruise, but it's been a while since I've seen it. Whether or not westerners actually showing up to help in foreign wars is racist, it's at least semi-historically accurate.