The concept of race remains one of the most contentious issues of the 21st century. Even with the progress made, the pain and suffering inflicted upon racial minorities by the colonialist West cannot be overlooked. Therefore, understanding the nature of the current disparaging attitudes toward people belonging to racial minorities, as well as delving into the history of racial relationships, is central to building a better world where the specified issue no longer remains a major dividing force.
The authors of the movie strive to make several crucial claims concerning the issue of race. Firstly, the movie overviews the history of racial relationships, particularly, in the context of the U.S. cultural setting. As a result, the tragic legacy of racism and the disparaging attitudes toward people of races other than white, particularly, African Americans, is outlined. However, most importantly, the movie directors clearly strive to make an argument that race is an imaginary construct, and a colonialist one, at that. Created to oppress, ostracize, and other those that do not fit a particular set of physical characteristics, the notion of take creates breeding grounds for racism and the resulting subjugation of large groups of people (Strain et al.). Therefore, the creators of the documentary represent race as not only artificial but also inherently harmful concept that needs to be abandoned in order to transition to healthier relationships.
In his attempt at proving his point, the movie directors use a broad range of evidence pieces, most of which constitute interviews and personal stories. Collected from an excruciatingly large number of participants, the specified evidence allows obtaining a clear and accurate perspective on the situation, as well as the history of race and interactions between representatives of different races. The use of interviews as the mean of sharing personal stories represents a particularly wholesome and warm approach of helping the target audience relate to the issue under discussion. However, apart from personal interviews, the movie offers reports on scientific research results and statistical data related to the economic and political status of racial minorities in the U.S. (Strain et al.). As a result of the comprehensive analysis of the issue, the problem of race-related conflicts and, specifically, the persistence of racism is examined. The specified results prove that the evidence used in the movie is exceptionally effective.
Much to the credit of the author of the documentary, even though it tackles a highly complex and controversial theme, the movie manages to approach the issue objectively, while helping the viewer relate to the content on an emotional level as much as the analytical one. The specified effect is achieved by incorporating the elements of logos and ethos into the narrative, while also injecting a certain amount of pathos into it. Specifically, the film renders the key historical information, providing a solid theoretical foundation for the further discussion, thus, representing gits logos component (Strain et al.). The described strategy helps engage with the viewers by appealing to them on a rational level (Strain et al.). Furthermore, the ethos of the documentary is established as the narrator details the adverse effects of colonialism on racial minorities and indigenous people (Strain et al.). As a result, the Ethos component is included into the story, delineating the film’s ethical stance as that one of condemning racial disparities and promoting equity in intercultural relationships (Strain et al.). Likewise, the documentary features Kairos as an essential component of the argument. Specifically, the movie appeals to the current sentiments, particularly, the importance of social justice and the promotion of equality as the foundational values of modern culture (Strain et al.). The described appeal is performed by juxtaposing the past attitude to and perceptions of race to the current one, emphasizing the progress and the importance of equality.
Though the argument that the directors make is strong and robust, it could have been slightly improved by shaping certain elements and adding other components. Specifically, the movie could have offered a more in-depth consideration of the political aspects of the racial disparities observed in the U.S. on the specified time slot. The inclusion of the specified perspective would have helped embrace the full range of injustice that the African American community, as well as people representing other racial minority groups, faced in the U.S. at the time. Additionally, the specified change would have helped correlate the difference in the progress made on the political and sociocultural levels, thus, explaining the current problem in ensuring that the rights of racial minorities, particularly, African Americans, are upheld in all institutions.
The tone that the filmmaker adopted when creating the documentary can be described as fairly neutral. The specified approach toward describing and depicting the issues of racial injustice and the problem of colonialism appear to be the moist suitable and beneficial one since it does not make the audience feel that the issue is introduced in a forceful and distasteful manner. As a result, the general message is represented in a palatable way and is perceived much more successfully than it5 would have been otherwise. Therefore, the tone can be considered generally acceptable and appropriate for the situation.
Moreover, the choice of the tone for the story has defined the target audience of the movie, having expanded it to include a broad range of groups. Naturally, educating white audiences about the complexity of race and the legacy of colonialism represents one of the core goals of the project, which is why the specified population can be seen as the target audience for the movie. However, one could also claim that, providing insightful information about the subject matter and representing minority groups, particularly, African Americans, in its narrative, the documentary also considers the racial minorities in question as its target population. Indeed, watching the film will help the specified demographic feel seen and heard, with their agency and extent of social and political influence having increased. Furthermore, by making minority groups visible, “race” contributes to reinforcing the power of their cultural legacies, therefore, contributing to the strengthening of minority communities and validating their cultural identity. Therefore, the film should also be seen as a piece that targets minority communities as well.
When considering the directors’ previous experience, the importance of “race” becomes all the more evident. Specifically, Tracy Heather Strain has been known for her research on African American Arts, whereas Christine Herbes-Sommers has been tackling a variety of social issues in her directorial experience (Strain et al.). Finally, Llewellyn Smith as a member of the Labour Party in Britain was san important contributor to the class-related perspective on the current race-based issues in the U.S.
By analysing the history of relationships between the west and members of racial minorities, as well as deconstructing the very concept of race, one will approach the point where the suffering inflicted upon racial minorities will be addressed fully, and opportunities for creating relationships rooted in equality will open. The documentary in question sheds light on the nature of the issue and the ideas lying at its core, thus, explaining how racial disparities came to be a major part of present-day intercultural relationships. Offering an uninhibited and uncompromising look at the subject matter, “Race” renders a powerful message concerning the necessity to shift to a new mode of relationships and understanding of race, where the subject matter is viewed as a descriptive factor rather than the one that predetermines attitudes and relationships between individuals.
Strain, Tracy Heather, et al., director. Race: The Power of an Illusion. California Newsreel, 2003.