Austin School of Film presents Race, Representation, and Cinema
Filmmaker & educator Rhitu Basu will present a lecture and discussion centered on representational issues around race & culture in Hollywood films. Basu is Austin School of Film’s lead educator on Minority Lens course series, studying minority & global cinema.
Antonio Gramsci, an Italian philosopher, described how Western societies have two spheres: the political and the cultural. The first is ruled by force; for example, by laws and law enforcement. But the cultural sphere exerts power in a different way: here, our ideas, values and beliefs are shaped by a dominant ideology.
Cinema is a major form of cultural discourse. And the power and influence of Hollywood cinema, means that our ideas about the world are shaped by a very specific, American worldview. This in turn, has real world implications. For example, if we only ever see Muslims represented as irrationally violent, we might be more accepting of our government's wars in the Middle East. If we only ever see Black men as criminals, we might not question our policing system's brutality against them. If we see Indigenous people represented only as a "dying race" and colonialism a "past sin," we may not pay attention when our governments invade their sovereign lands to build pipelines.