Racism in Modern America Through Film


By Christian Yepes

With the recent presidential election in the U.S., there has been a tense racial divide that has not been seen in many decades. Though many people have expressed their take on this in different forms, the release of the new movie “Get Out” sparks light on this subject in a horror-satire perspective. Released on February 24 with a production budget of five million dollars, the film has quickly gained attention worldwide and escalated to the top of the charts. Since release, it has earned nearly one hundred eighty million dollars in worldwide box office sales and continues to sell. The film is not only being spoken about by viewers and talk show hosts, but it has also become a trending topic on social media.

Written and directed by Jordan Peele, he casts Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington and Allison Williams as Rose Armitage, the films main protagonists. Chris (28), is an African American who is in an interracial relationship with girlfriend Rose (29). The opening scene of the film displays Rose as eager and excited to introduce her boyfriend to her parents during the upcoming weekend. However, Chris does not show the same level of excitement towards meeting her parents. He asks Rose if her parents are aware that he is African American and she calmly replies that it does not matter and that his race is unimportant to her parents. Little does he know, he is in for a rude awakening.  

With its fresh new concept and cast, this film manages to masterfully deliver its social theme of racism in modern America. The film manages to tackle the issue of racism in a very unorthodox manner. Director Jordan Peele veers away from the stereotypes associated with racism in America. Nowhere in the movie is the stereotypical southern racist seen. Rather than focus on the “traditional” racism reminiscent of the 60’s, in which racial slurs and lynching were the main staples, Peele instead focuses on the subtle racism which is much more common in today’s society. The perpetrators of racism in this film aren’t white southern conservatives; instead, it’s the elite white liberals of modern America. In the first few minutes of this film, when Chris asks Rose if her parents will be okay with him being black, she tells him, “My dad would have voted for Obama for a third term.” This statement is later repeated to Chris by Rose’s dad. There are moments like this scattered throughout the film. Another major one is when Rose’s brother assumes Chris’ athletic superiority because of his race. It is comments and moments like this throughout the film that point out the subtle nature of racism in today’s society.


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