Given my love of movies of a certain age (older than me!), I have to accept that some of the things seen as ‘fine’ back then, just look horrid now. In truth, I dont even have to go back that far for a prime example, there was a 1970’s TV series called ‘Love Thy Neighbour’, which at the time was designed to show off the racist attitude of one of the actors, when a West Indian couple moved in next door. In truth, the humour was probably pretty dodgy back then, but if people watched it now, with modern eyes, they’d probably want to burn all the tape of the program. Fine, now, it would probably be for the best, but back then, well, lets just say there were people, like myself, who found the attitudes to be horribly wrong, and there were others who just couldnt see what was wrong with his opinions!
There is a ‘much discussed’ silent movie dating from 1915, called Birth Of A Nation, that, to put it bluntly, shows the KKK in a good light. No, to modern eyes, that isnt good, and hopefully to some at least back then, they felt the same way about the matter, though I suspect the segregation that went on back then, less so. My personal view, the nature of the film, as it portrays, is ghastly, but its film history, that with modern eyes looks awful, but back then, things were different. I’d love to say the whole matter is solved, but as we’ve sadly seen too many examples of in the US recently, sadly there are a few ‘cavemen’ type who still think that is right. No, I’ve never seen the movie, so cant comment in a personal way.
But the one I have seen, that is now starting to cause a fuss, in a similar manner, is Gone With The Wind! Seriously, its a story of the American Civil War, set at a time when white people were in charge, and everyone else was treated with disdain, but…I’ve seen several reports of late of cinemas refusing to show it, because of what its about. I know, if the nature of it upsets you, dont go and see it, but seriously, its a film classic, and trying to stop others watching it, of their own free choice, seriously…? So leave the film be!
No, I agree, it would never be made now, because the times have changed, but back then…So yes, before you comment on these movies, or the Charlie Chan movies (where a white man dressed up as an oriental, rather than getting a Chinese actor for the part) as being horrible in modern eyes, just stop and think. Try, if possible to see them through the eyes of people who were around back in the 1930’s, or before, not through modern eyes. Or better, dont watch them, unless you can! Yes, they are horrible to modern eyes, but these were made 80 years ago, or more, when things were very different.
End of rant!
Video time. Well this isnt quite as old as Gone With The Wind, but its nearly as old as me!
As I discovered on the news earlier today, today was the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech, which in time helped to change the world, and especially in the US, with its words about racial equality.
Yes, hard to believe now, isnt it? Just 50 years ago, racial equality in the US, oh dear! Thankfully things have changed a lot since then. Mind, LGBT rights back then were just as ‘good’, I think its fair to say. I dont think we are as far forward in the battle for equality as the race issue, but hopefully we will get there very soon.
No, I dont remember anything about the speech at the time, hardly surprising considering I was 5 at the time! I’ve seen it a few times since then, and heard it too, as yet again, OMD chose an interesting issue for one of their songs, back in the mid 80’s. Given this was never released as a single, it was harder to find a video, but Stevie tracked one down
My, havent things changed a lot since then?