Racism in the Film Industry
The film industry has been used for many purposes throughout history. Some of these benefits include entertainment, passing educative information, and creating public awareness among other benefits. However, despite the benefits, some of the information communicated through the movies has been found to advance undesirable social and moral thoughts. Racism is one the vices that have been found to prevail in the film industry. Though it is not very rampant, some movies have been interpreted to depict some racial biasness. In most cases, the white race is depicted as superior and more advanced as opposed to other races. As demonstrated in the movie, “White Dog,”racism is seen to be a deep-seated issue in the society in which every race harbors some resentment against other races. The film was highly criticized across the United States for its racist views.
The White Dog is a movie that demonstrates racial conflicts and disparities. At the beginning of the movie, actress Julie Sawyer finds a stray white dog that she takes gives treatment and goes looking for the owner. She is unsuccessful in tracing the owner hence she ends up having the dog with her. A rapist attacks Julie one night but the dog protected her. This make Julie decide to adopt the dog despite the fact that her boyfriend was opposed to it. In advancing the racial theme, the dog happens to have been trained against the black people. In the process, it ends up killing a black truck driver as well as Julie’s colleague(Pearl 11). This demonstrates racial discrimination. the reasons for targeting only the blacks in a negative way reveal the black race in a bad light. Apparently, the dog was trained in order to attack black people that it came across. However, despite the dog being seen to be a racist or having been trained to be a racist, it goes further to save Julie from the hands of a rapist irrespective of their tribal affiliation.
There is a variation in the perception of characters towards racial prejudice. Julie was one of the characters that outstood in developing an intervention towards the situation of the white dog. She realized that the dog had some training that did not go well with her expectations. This made her embark on looking for a dog trainer. The first one she meets is called Carruthers, who also harbors anti-racism thoughts hence he recommends that the dog should be killed. On the other hand, another dog trainer, Keys attempts to train the dog to change its racial biasness hence starting to attack the whites instead of the blacks(IMDb 1). Throughout this section of the movie, there is a clear position that there is racial discrimination that is advancedby the characters. Being black, Keys uses the opportunity to train the dog as a perfect one for advancing a racial scheme. Keys is very tactful in handling the dog ensuring that it does not hurt him while making the dog to detest the whites.
Despite the dog having been trained for quite some time by Keys, it takes time before it conforms to his anti-white training. At one point, the dog ran away and was able to kill an elderly man that it found in a church. This indicates that the dog had not yet forgotten about the training that it had received against the blacks. Clearly, this movie advances racism by presenting a situation where there is an attempt to mold the dog to confine to the racial expectations of its trainers. Keys is quite determined to have the dog conform, even after the fatal incidence at the church, he goes looking for it and takes it back for training. One of Keys’ motivations is that white racists would cease training dogs in such a manner if he were successful in curing the dog(IMDb 1). This would prove the white racists wrong and make them focus on other constructive aspects rather than train the dogs on attacking people.
The film advances the point of racial discrimination further by showing how the dog can be converted to attacking the whites. Though Julie’s original idea was not to have the dog trained so that it changes to attacking the whites, it ends up depicting that trait. Through the persistence training by Keys, the dog develops a rapport with him hence becoming friendly to the black people. Julie is impressed upon the healing of the dog and confronts the owner on the basis that he trained the dog so that it could depict racial prejudice behaviors. Carruthers (a white man) is brutally attacked by the dog and sustains serious injuries despite him being the one that hired Keys to train the dog on behalf of Julie. This aspect presents a lot of controversy in that the training of the dog has worsened the racial prejudice that was advanced the initial owner. In real sense, the dog is not healed as per Julie’s expectations. Her celebration of the thought that the dog has been healed is premature. Since he is a black person, Keys celebrates his victory, hence it can be argued that he is pleased with the dog turning against the whites as opposed to the blacks. This movie cannot be said to be against racist since each of the components of the plot are seen to advance racial schemes.
The racial prejudice that is shown by the dog trainers and advanced to the dogs is seen to be costly since it costs the dog’s life. After the attack on Carruthers, which happened unexpectedly, the dog is shot dead by Keys whose intention was not to have the dog change its aggression towards the whites but to have it healed. The movie concludes where the dog is shot dead in order to rescue Carruthers’ life. Clearly, racism targeted against the blacks ended up having unexpected implications to both people as well as the dog itself(Pearl 11). This means that the movie’s racial views are well pronounced, thereby, bringing a component of racial contempt and resentment.
The movie leaves the viewer in a confused state in the overall concept of whether racial prejudice can be overcome or not. The movie seems to be having a very important message. that the racial disease cannot have a cure. However, the cure is seen to have tough consequences. in this case, it costs the dog’s life as well as lives of various individuals. The movie has also demonstrated that the thought of developing racial instincts comes first from the racially prejudiced individuals. In addition, it takes individuals of good will to overcome racism, though the consequences are seen to be unbearable. The change in the attack by the dog from the blacks to the whites while in the process of curing the dog is an indicator that the disease of racism does not have a cure. This is based on the view that there is no harmony on the state that the dog is supposed to be at. The medial state lacks because the dog is either inclined to one race or the other.
Despite the view that movies have been used to send racially biased information, the White Dog exhibits some anti-racial information. It is quite apparent that the motive of Keys and Julie is to have an antiracial society where the dog s able to retain sanity without having to attack any of the races. In addition, when the dog attacks Carruthers (a white man), Keys was swift to defend him by terminating the life of the dog. Another aspect that is depicted in the movie is that all races are equal(Croce 1). This is evidenced by the fact that the dog was able to attack both the black and white individuals.
In conclusion, the movie White Dogcan be said to be racist based on a keen interpretation and analysis. There is a clear demonstration that the disease of racism is incurable. This message strongly supports the view that racism can proceed since there is no cure for it. Though the consequences of racism are clearly elucidated, it is quite clear that people are not willing to disown it. Racism is also seen to keep on changing from one state to another based on the prevailing circumstances. This has shown by the changes in the racial extremities from the attack of the dogs on the blacks to the whites, which was highly unexpected. Therefore, the film industry in certain ways has advanced racism through its messages, characters, and other components. However, there are much more advantageous traits brought about by the development of the industry.
Croce, Fernando. White Dog. .Slant Magazine. 2008. Web. 26 May, 2014. http://www.slantmagazine.com/film/review/white-dog
IMDb.White Dog.2009. Web. 26 May, 2014. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084899/
Pearl, Cyril. Tipsheet Reviews: White Dog. .Video Business2008.28 .(45): 11.
You Tube. White Dog.2009. Web. 26 May, 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhkrvBNnAcw
Racism in the Film Industry