Shaviro on “Monster’s Ball” and Hollywood Racism

I just stumbled across Steven Shaviro‘s old but absolutely wonderful assessment of the critically acclaimed film “Monster’s Ball,” a film that–must I remind you–Halle Berry won an Academy Award for. He starts off his post with the following inciting words and continues along a similar strain. Brilliant stuff.

Seeing Monster’s Ball made me wish that James Baldwin were still alive, because Baldwin wrote the book on the racial hypocrisy of Hollywood. Monster’s Ball continues the tradition of films like The Defiant Ones and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner–films that wear their ostensibly anti-racist messages on their sleeves, while actually continuing to perpetuate the worst racist stereotypes… 

Monster’s Ball is lame in nearly all respects. The cinematography is TV hack work at best, and the editing is almost inexplicably incompetent…

But forget that. Here’s a film that flatters its white audience by congratulating them for being far beyond racism, while perpetuating the hoariest fantasies of jungle fever.


Click here for the rest.


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