Film Analysis; Kendi

Week #4 Discussion: Film Analysis; Kendi (Ch. 4, 5, 6)

For Discussion #4, you will be analyzing a film or TV show of your choice and relating it to the concepts in Chapters 4, 5, or 6 of Kendi’s book, How to Be an Antiracist. Your write-up should include a minimum of three quotes from Chapters 4, 5, or 6, and at least three specific scenes from your film or TV show to help illustrate the connections you are making in your analysis.

How to Begin

You should begin by reading Chapters 4, 5, and 6, so the concepts and examples in these chapters are fresh in your mind before you watch your film or TV show. Make sure to also read the Week #4 Overview Page to see What to Look For in each chapter. (See the note on Quoting Kendi, also.)

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You should then watch your film or show, looking at it through the lens of race, class, ethnicity, and/or gender, depending on the topic of the film. You should pick a film that you think will connect with the issues brought up in Chapters 4, 5, or 6, specifically. Watch for the way the film or show presents the characters and their situation, and watch for the conflicts that arise throughout the film. Be sure to note how the story ends, as well—this is key to what the filmmaker/storyteller has in mind as the message they are hoping to convey.

The Write-Up

Your write-up should present the basic premise of the film or TV show (a brief summary of what it is about), and should then present several key scenes, with specific descriptions and details, from the beginning, middle, and end of the story. You should be making connections with Kendi’s chapters (4, 5, and 6, in particular) all the way along, as linked to these key scenes. Your three quotes (minimum) from Chapters 4, 5, or 6 can be integrated all the way along, as you make these connections with the scenes. You can either start each part of the write-up with a scene from the film, or you can start each part with an idea from Kendi—you can “lead” with either one. You can end with a brief overall analysis of the film’s main message and how this relates to an idea from Kendi.

Some Films and TV shows to consider:

13th, 42, 537 Votes, A Better Life, America to Me, Amistad, Before Stonewall, Best of Enemies, Black Panther, Boyz N the Hood, Bread and Roses, Coming to America, Creed, Do the Right Thing, Fruitvale Station, Get Out, Gran Torino, The Help, Hidden Figures, I am Not Your Negro, The Joy Luck Club, Judas and the Black Messiah, Just Mercy, Lion, Logan, Malcolm X, Many Rivers to Cross, Marshall, Mississippi Burning, Moonlight, Mrs. America, Mudbound, One Night in Miami, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Poetic Justice, Queen Sugar, The Revenant, Roma, Selma, Shut Up and Dribble, Slumdog Millionaire, Snow Falling on Cedars, Stand and Deliver, Straight Outta Compton, When They See Us, X-Men.

If you’re curious about some of these films and TV shows and are not sure which one to pick, you can watch some trailers online to get a sense of each one. You can find many more options in the BLM (Black Lives Matter) section in Netflix, the Black Stories section on Hulu, and in the Black Voices, Black Stories section of Xfinity. You can also use different search terms in Netflix and on other streaming sites for other groups, if you want to see collections of LGBTQ films, Mexican or Latino movies, Muslim films, Filipino Movies and TV, Asian stories, Jewish films, etc.

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