Mixed-Race Melodrama: Métisse

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, Communications/Media Studies, Europe, Media Archive on 2021-11-22 17:57Z by Steven

Mixed-Race Melodrama: Métisse

Dr Zélie Asava: Rethinking Representation

Zélie Asava, Academic. Speaker. Author.

Métisse [Mixed-Race] (Kassovitz, France, 1993) adheres to the ethics of beur cinema by reimagining the French nuclear family as black, mixed and white through its central characters. As a pioneering work it is flawed but, by directly engaging with issues of race, class, gender and sexuality, the film challenges the culturally embedded assumptions of its socio-historic moment and space.

Like Kassovitz’s 1995 film La Haine, Métisse visualises a France infused with Americana – various scenes feature fast food chains, basketball, drug dealing, graffiti, and hip hop. This cross-cultural focus belies the mixed history of the French nation, and locates the film in a society and industry profoundly changed by the post-WWII period of American commercial domination.[1] Métisse’s mise en scène evades traditional Parisian tropes – key landmarks are absent and there is little philosophising or romance (only its troublesome consequences). The protagonists are immature anti-heroes – rather than effortlessly chic intellectuals – and embody a mixed-race France. As such, they stand as a contrast to contemporaneous cinema culture – e.g. Amélie (Jeunet, France, 2001) or Les Apprentis [The Apprentices] (Salvadori, France, 1995) – where Paris is visualised through a white lens. Métisse is a conscious attempt to rewrite the city as its ordinary inhabitants know it; to show characters driven by tangible problems rather than ennui

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What the Coloring of America Requires of White People

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2021-11-22 17:44Z by Steven

What the Coloring of America Requires of White People


Frank Robinson
Austin, Texas

The Census makes clear that America’s demographics are changing. The percentage of white Americans dropped, while percentages of people of color, of multiethnic and multiracial people, increased. Welcome to our emerging reality.

To some whites, this is the dreaded harbinger of a nightmarish future where we are not in control. Numbers only confirm what’s been underway for some time. Like it or not, we must learn to voluntarily surrender every existing sense of entitlement to control the spaces we occupy. What is called for is the giving of respect.

All white people are not dismayed, afraid or angry. Many are secretly or openly hopeful of America becoming better, doing better. Some have invested time to learn facts and actual history, done work on themselves, and even with imperfect understanding, they step up, speak up and put themselves at risk of hostile neighbors, kinfolk, and co-workers. Some do it out of human decency, some with conviction this is good, godly, and right. If that’s you, I want to encourage you and say I’m kinda proud of you. Keep moving forward in educating yourself to become the thermostat and not the thermometer in your sphere of influence. Learn from good examples. Also, learn what not to do from bad examples and failures, including your own…

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