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Reel Racism: Confronting Hollywood's Construction of Afro-American Culture (Thinking Through Cinema) [Paperback]

Vincent F. Rocchio
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

December 1, 2000 0813367107 978-0813367101
Reel Racism: Confronting Hollywood's Construction of Afro-American Culture goes beyond reflection theories of the media to examine cinema's active participation in the operations of racism --a complex process rooted in the dynamics of representation. Written for undergraduates and graduate students of film studies and philosophy, Reel Racism focuses on methods and frameworks that analyze films for their production of meaning and how those meanings participate in a broader process of justifying, naturalizing, or legitimizing difference, privilege, and violence based on race. In addition to analyzing how the process of racism is articulated in specific films, Reel Racism examines how specific meanings can resist their function of ideological containment, and instead, offer a perspective of a more collective, egalitarian social system-- one that transcends the discourse of race.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Vincent F. Rocchio is visiting assistant professor of film studies at Dartmouth College. He has also published articles in The Spectator, Film Quarterly, and The National Catholic Reporter . He is a founding member of the Ekklesia Project and currently lives in Lawrence, MA.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Press (December 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813367107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813367101
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,180,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Reel Racism" is the Real Thing February 21, 2001
Simply put, the best book there is on race and cinema. Rocchio refuses the simple, and simplistic, route of identifying negative racial stereotypes in film (a route that, as he points out, has governed previous studies of race and cinema). Rather, he explores the ways in which a variety of films--including The Birth of a Nation, Driving Miss Daisy, and Mississippi Burning--actively participate in the creation and circulation of racial discourse. This approach enables him to show that even seemingly "positive" depictions of African American characters (as in Driving Miss Daisy) can participate in the construction of racial difference and inequality. Rocchio does not, however, mean to suggest that film is solely a racist vehicle; he also includes readings of films--notably those of Spike Lee--that challenge or contest processes of racism. What's great about the book, too, is that it's accessible for students of film or for a general audience; it's not meant only (or even mostly) for film scholars, as evidenced by the straightforward prose and careful selection of footnotes. And the book's accessibility is particularly important since film, and the racial discourses Rocchio identifies in film, aren't confined to a particular segment of the population either.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars hard to read April 7, 2007
If you have not seen the movies the author writes about the book is hard to understand. It was hard to read and I found it quite boring.
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