Poll

Thoughts?

I'm glad. The movie is racially insensitive and I don't particularly care for it. Let's move on from GONE WITH THE WIND.
1 (10%)
I'm mad! This is borderline CENSORSHIP! The movie is a MASTERPIECE!
1 (10%)
While I hate/don't care much about the movie, I don't think this was the best decision. It sets a bad precedent for the future.
4 (40%)
While I love the movie, I understand pulling it at a particular intense moment in modern US history.
2 (20%)
I don't care either way.
1 (10%)
Other (Please Specify)
1 (10%)

Total Members Voted: 10

Author Topic: A theater chain decided not to show GONE WITH THE WIND due to complaints...  (Read 187 times)

AliceGuyBlache

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...about its racially insensitive content:

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/aug/29/theatre-in-memphis-pulls-racially-insensitive-gone-with-the-wind

Quote
Theatre president Brett Batterson said in a statement that “as an organisation whose stated mission is to entertain, educate and enlighten the communities it serves, the Orpheum cannot show a film that is insensitive to a large segment of its local population”.

I'd love to turn this into a discussion.

Personally, I think the movie is great, but I understand pulling it at this moment in time.

oldkid

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There are a lot of negative stuff out there, but not displaying it isn't the best idea.  Rather, we show it and we point out the immoral practices.  But we show it.  Partly as a lesson to be learned.  Partly to enjoy the parts of it that aren't awful.

I'm still looking forward to watching Birth of a Nation.
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Teproc

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I'm not mad, but I don't agree with the decision... not because of the quality of the film (I like it a lot but that's really beside the point), but because it shows exactly how the South romanticizes itself. From a foreigner's point of view, it's an immensely instructive film, because without it I couldn't begin to fathom how so many people could have any tolerance for Confederate flags and statues.

Now, I understand that people in Memphis might not need that as they are well aware, and if the film is shown without any comment, any discussion, introduction or contextualisation, well that's not great. But I don't love pulling it.

DarkeningHumour

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I haven't seen it but as far as I am concerned it could be some Leni Riefensthal movie, pulling it out is asinine.
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StudentOFilm

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I picked the third choice, although I could understand someone siding with the second or fourth option. I echo what Oldkid/Teproc are saying about using the film to teach.

That being said, if something bothers someone (such as the content of a film), of course they sould be allowed to voice their opinion and a theater can decide what and what not to show, but I think more can be gleaned from watching the film to discuss/learn from it. I often feel that something like the theater's decision stems from this idea that a film must be entertaining and that we have to agree with its content.

I think this is a wonderful idea as well.

(I also only ever got 90 minutes into GWTW before turning it off)
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DarkeningHumour

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I know the baddies are white supremacists, but is Green Room really anti-bigotry?
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MartinTeller

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To me the movie works fine as entertainment but the social/racial/political aspects of it disgust me and ruin the experience for me. It's not Birth of a Nation bad, but it's pretty bad. I think it's very problematic and it gets a free pass too often.

Still, halting a showing may be a step too extreme. I don't think this move threatens the film's existence in any way, but isn't it more constructive to show the movie and provide some context? Have a panel discussion afterwards or a some introductory notes or something? I don't know, maybe it isn't.

Let's just keep in mind that cries of "CENSORSHIP!" are unwarranted. Every theater has the right to show whatever they want. It's only censorship when the government gets involved.

Voted third option, tempted to vote for the first

Teproc

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It's very different from Birth of a Nation. That is explicitely racist and celebrating the KKK. GWTW simply sidesteps the issue, portrays the Old South as this great place and slavery is just not in the picture.

You might argue it's worse because it's basically revisionist history, but I think they're problematic in very different ways.

Sam the Cinema Snob

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I find Gone with the Wind hugely problematic for romanticizing The Antebellum South as this place where all was harmonious and happy until the war happened. I feel like that's a sinister and dangerous message to put out in the world, especially with the current political climate. At least Birth of a Nation is unmasked and blatant racism.

This isn't censorship because this is all happened in the court of public opinion. I think people are right to be outraged and the chain is within its rights to not show the film as a result.  It's people in public saying we won't support this type of art so don't show it. The theater could have doubled-down and shown it but after hearing what their potential customers though, they clearly thought it would be better to not show it.

I know people love waving around freedom of speech, but honestly, some speech does more harm than good and while I know banning art is probably not something we want to do in America, there's plenty of precedent around the world for countries banning films that were deemed ideologically dangerous.

Here I think public outrage might be a better solution. If society deems a film harmful and speaks out against it being shown in corporate spaces, so be it. But we should still have the freedom as individuals and institutions to watch those films for historical purposes. I'd never pay to see Gone with the Wind or Birth of a Nation again, but I'm glad I saw them for purely academic reasons and would probably only recommend them to people super interested in understanding film history and with some major disclaimers.

StudentOFilm

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I suppose Green Room doesn't fit anti-bigotry as Entertainment Weekly puts it, but it is a reflection of hatred which fits more with the title of the Alamo series. I wouldn't of thought it'd be selected.
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