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12 Years A Slave Film Director


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#1 Johnoco

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:28 AM

I read a quote from the director of this film Steve McQueen (not that one) who said he made the film to make white people guilty (or words to that effect). I look forward to his film about making Arabs feel guilty as they pretty much invented it.

I don't subscribe to the notion of Original Sin as prescribed by the Catholic Church and I don't subscribe to garbage thinking like this either. I was not responsible for slavery, something that would revolt any decent person, so will not feel any second hand guilt however much people like him might try.
What irks me about people like him is that they insinuate that every white person was living the life of Riley in the meantime. NO! Then, as today, it is a handful of privileged people who benefit. Me being born with white skin doesn't make me party to that. He can get lost.

Is he going to make a film about the fate of the British working class during the industrial revolution? Or was whitey living it up then too?

#2 gingerjon

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:58 AM

Hmmm ...  it seems he said he wants to make white liberals feel guilty.  Which is slightly different.  Also in this clip (which has no useful context, thanks Newsnight) http://www.bbc.co.uk...rammes/p01pcy9w he says that he is not making films for white people.

 

But in the latter he then basically says he is making universal stories with global resonance.  That's fine.  They aren't for white people and they aren't just about black/white.  He made a film about Bobby Sands as well, I believe.  He may, in the future, do Arabs too.  Who knows.

 

As for the former.  I can see his point whilst not exactly agreeing with it.  My family tree, as far as I know, gets unclear from the late 1890s.  I have friends who can trace theirs back to Charles II and earlier.  The reason being that in their case they were from well-heeled families with money and (occasional) titles.  The gingers were smelters, tin miners and other such jobs (obviously, still superior to the Oco family but that's a given) - I can't see how that bunch oppressed anybody other than themselves.  I don't feel any personal or family guilt about slavery.  But if we are to all feel part of a nation that celebrates its history and enjoys the feeling that 'we' invented cricket, warm beer, queuing and Magna Carta then we also have to occasionally dip into the well of expelling the Jews, shipping people across the Atlantic and the pervasive spread of Jamie Oliver.


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#3 Johnoco

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:10 AM

What does 'not making films for white people' mean? Sorry it's all BS

#4 gingerjon

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:11 AM

What does 'not making films for white people' mean? Sorry it's all BS

 

It depends on the question, which we don't see.


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#5 markleeds

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:17 AM

Comedian Bill Burr (Kuby from Breaking Bad) talked about white guilt. It's worth digging out as it's pretty funny.

#6 Wolford6

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:18 AM

Most white British people have a slave-line in their genealogy. The ruling classes and conservative historians euphemistically refer to the historic British slaves as serfs or villeins etc. The very presence of the surname "Freeman" is a reminder. No interviewer has yet asked the Queen, Duke of Westminster or the Marquess of Bute  'How many slaves did your family own when it first started making real money?'

 

In interviews, Steve McQueen is making a valid issue over the fact that the USA film industry  has always shied away from covering this subject. He's black and his perspective is differnt than most of ours. For many black people there must be a subconscious reminder of a slave-line every time they look in the mirror and see a black face that resides in a historically-white society. We white people don't have that reminder as both slave-owners and slaves were white.

 

I've no axe to grind though, and I would like to see this film.


Edited by Wolford6, 10 January 2014 - 09:23 AM.

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#7 Simmo

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:52 AM

I've seen the film, it's pretty good, but far from the best I have ever seen.

 

In this context, it's pretty hard to see if he made this for black people, white people, or ginger people. It is just like every other film ever made about slavery.

 

I don't personally feel any guilt about slavery. I am a white man, but as far as I know, I have never owned a slave. Also, if directors continue to make films like this, it will become hard to decide if they are doing it to glorify slavery, or to bring it to the world's attention, or because they feel sorry for themselves.

 

At some point we have to accept it was wrong, put it behind us, and move on together. Bringing it up again, and again, and again, doesn't really serve any purpose.



#8 Bob8

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 09:59 AM

What does 'not making films for white people' mean? Sorry it's all BS

IMO It is very much in a USA context, where these things apply for more.  Race and class are very different here, so these things do not fit when people import US arguments, whether it be obesity, class or race.


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#9 Saint Billinge

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:15 AM

Let's not forget that some form of slavery still exists today, even in Britain. The guy shown recently being beaten up by his evil captors was truly appalling. I'm sure controversial film director Spike Lee once openly accused Clint Eastwood of ignoring black soldiers in his World War II films. 

 

Out of interest, a slave nicknamed Sambo is buried on the coast just up from Lancaster. This 12-year-old died on his way to America. The gravestone is lovingly tended to by locals as well as visitors from farther afield, although it was vandalised not too long ago. Of course, there are other stories that differ on how he arrived here. You can see pictures of the gravestone by typing Sambo's grave on Google.


Edited by Saint Billinge, 10 January 2014 - 10:24 AM.


#10 WearyRhino

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:38 AM

IMO It is very much in a USA context, where these things apply for more. Race and class are very different here, so these things do not fit when people import US arguments, whether it be obesity, class or race.


Absolutely, the context in the USA is one where there is music, radio, TV, food, clothes, housing et al specifically ringfenced for different skin colours. Yes, that does exist here, but to a much lesser extent and rarely as exclusive and/or excluding. Racial mixing is considerably less frequent and I believe interracial relationships are less common (don't know the stats though!) There are significant numbers of people, both black and white, who simply do not come across people of the other race on a daily basis.

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#11 Northern Sol

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:43 AM

I saw an interview with him and he came across as a bit of a ****.

 

He was saying that very few films have been made about slavery that there were more films about Spartacus than about slavery. If he had paid more attention he'd have noticed that Spartacus was about a slave uprising.

 

He also claimed that his parents were West Indian and so that basically makes him the same as a an African American. No, it doesn't. Your grandparents may not have chosen which country they lived in just as black Americans didn't chose to be born in the USA but your parents chose to come to the UK. Drop the persecuted BS.

 

I'm all for films about slavery but they always seem to be directed by race baiters who push the white guilt line while minimising any black involvement and ignoring the fact that slavery is something universal.



#12 Johnoco

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:17 AM

The film may be good and it's a perfectly valid thing to make a film about. That is not my point, I am just fed up of this garbage about guilt by association.
And to Bob8 and WR, why should the fact that he is from a different country make it ok for him (or anyone else) to 'not make films for whites'? I can imagine the reaction if a film maker or musician from SA made something and declared 'actually its not for blacks'? It would be seen for the racist statement it is.

I am also perfectly aware that there are such things as black music or whatever. But I have never been told not to listen to Motown or Reggae because it is for blacks.

#13 Northern Sol

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:34 AM

I like motown too but it was made as "cross over" music to sell well with whites as well as blacks. Hence a lot of the race baiters shun it.

 

Similar thing with Bob Marley.



#14 Bob8

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:35 AM

The film may be good and it's a perfectly valid thing to make a film about. That is not my point, I am just fed up of this garbage about guilt by association.
And to Bob8 and WR, why should the fact that he is from a different country make it ok for him (or anyone else) to 'not make films for whites'? I can imagine the reaction if a film maker or musician from SA made something and declared 'actually its not for blacks'? It would be seen for the racist statement it is.

I am also perfectly aware that there are such things as black music or whatever. But I have never been told not to listen to Motown or Reggae because it is for blacks.

The USA is far more segregated that the UK.  When he speaks likes this, he might believe what he says applies to the rest of the world, but he would be mistaken.  One thing that has surprised many Americans is that people in the UK have an accent more influenced by home town and class rather than race, obvious to us and very strange to them.

 

One aspect of this seperation is that films, music and TV programmes are often done with a specific racial target, just as in Europe a specific nation is targetted (a poor analogy, a cleverer person will have a better one).  Most major films will be done with whlte people in mind, whereas this one is not.

 

It is a bit obnoxious to say it, just as it would be obnoxious if the writers of Friends had announced "we write for white women", but slightly less obnoxious in the context of the USA.


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”I am all for expansion but not to start and string the teams all over the place” – stewpot01 – 11 July 2014

"2013 is on course to be one of the most disastrous in its history." - Creditwhereitsdews - 2nd January 2013


#15 Garvers

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:38 AM

The film may be good and it's a perfectly valid thing to make a film about. That is not my point, I am just fed up of this garbage about guilt by association.
And to Bob8 and WR, why should the fact that he is from a different country make it ok for him (or anyone else) to 'not make films for whites'? I can imagine the reaction if a film maker or musician from SA made something and declared 'actually its not for blacks'? It would be seen for the racist statement it is.

I am also perfectly aware that there are such things as black music or whatever. But I have never been told not to listen to Motown or Reggae because it is for blacks.

 

I briefly caught some of his interview.  When he said he didn't make the film for white people, I seem to recall he was responding to the accusation that his film was simply designed to make white people feel guilty.  He wasn't saying 'white people can't watch my film', far from it - I think you've got the wrong end of the stick.  He was dismissing someone else's claim that his film was specifically aimed at white people.  At least that's the impression I got.



#16 Bob8

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:38 AM

The USA is far more segregated that the UK.  When he speaks likes this, he might believe what he says applies to the rest of the world, but he would be mistaken.  One thing that has surprised many Americans is that people in the UK have an accent more influenced by home town and class rather than race, obvious to us and very strange to them.

 

One aspect of this seperation is that films, music and TV programmes are often done with a specific racial target, just as in Europe a specific nation is targetted (a poor analogy, a cleverer person will have a better one).  Most major films will be done with whlte people in mind, whereas this one is not.

 

It is a bit obnoxious to say it, just as it would be obnoxious if the writers of Friends had announced "we write for white women", but slightly less obnoxious in the context of the USA.

Perhaps an analogy would be if you made a film for a Bradford audience, however, people in London complained that people had a Yorkshire accent, didn't talk about London enough and that it was the wrong type or rugby.  Again a rubbish analogy, but the race situation in the USA is a very strange one.  


"You clearly have never met Bob8 then, he's like a veritable Bryan Ferry of RL." - Johnoco 19 Jul 2014

”I am all for expansion but not to start and string the teams all over the place” – stewpot01 – 11 July 2014

"2013 is on course to be one of the most disastrous in its history." - Creditwhereitsdews - 2nd January 2013


#17 Johnoco

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 12:27 PM

Perhaps an analogy would be if you made a film for a Bradford audience, however, people in London complained that people had a Yorkshire accent, didn't talk about London enough and that it was the wrong type or rugby. Again a rubbish analogy, but the race situation in the USA is a very strange one.

Yes I know what you are getting at and you are right. But race goes a bit deeper than that, as we can see. For instance, I wouldn't make the film and target it for only white folk from Bradford.

Edited by Johnoco, 10 January 2014 - 12:32 PM.


#18 Exiled Townie

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 12:28 PM

In the couple of interviews I've seen him on, this Steve McQueen does come over as a bit pretentious. In one, he said it was his wife that found the book the film is based on, in her job as a 'cultural critic' whatever the heck that is. 


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#19 Johnoco

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 12:30 PM

I briefly caught some of his interview. When he said he didn't make the film for white people, I seem to recall he was responding to the accusation that his film was simply designed to make white people feel guilty. He wasn't saying 'white people can't watch my film', far from it - I think you've got the wrong end of the stick. He was dismissing someone else's claim that his film was specifically aimed at white people. At least that's the impression I got.

Possibly so. But the point remains that some people are constantly pushing the guilt trip on the black/white angle and it gets on my tats.

#20 Johnoco

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 12:37 PM

I like motown too but it was made as "cross over" music to sell well with whites as well as blacks. Hence a lot of the race baiters shun it.

Similar thing with Bob Marley.

I don't think Motown was just invented for whites. Many young whites discovered it and got into it so Berry Gordy cottoned on to the idea of making it popular.
I remember hearing reggae records in punk clubs/gigs like Burning Spear 'do you remember the days of slavery' and didn't think they were wrong to remember the issue. ...I just wasn't responsible!