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Posts Tagged ‘Cultural Appropriation’

Given all of the attention that former princess of Genovia received for her role in Rachel Getting Married, I figured that I should check it out.  While Obama’s election does not mean that we live in a post-racial society, the characters in Rachel Getting Married apparently do.  In a movie with characters from as many racial and ethnic backgrounds as the casting director could find, there is no racial tension or even a mention of race.  As Mixed Race America notes:

According to the DVD extras (on the “making of” segment) as well as this LA Times article featuring Jenny Lumet (daughter of white-Jewish director Sidney Lumet and maternal grand-daughter of Lena Horne), the polyglot of races, ethnicities, and cultures was no coincidence–the director/producer/writer wanted to show life as they knew it–which included having friends and family who were diverse in terms of race, sexuality, age, and a host of other factors. Of course, as my friend “B” pointed out, as much as both Lumet and one of the producers claimed that their friends were this “diverse”–the truth is, most Americans probably wouldn’t boast a wedding party that was quite as diverse as the one featured in this film (which included an inexplicable “Indian” theme for the wedding, Brazilian carnival dancers, Eastern European stringed instruments, and a host of very artistic/arty folks just strumming and humming and singing and jamming their way through the film).

Indeed, the setting for this movie is so post-racial that it is a distraction from the plot, which did not need to be weighed down by the movie’s imagery.  In addition to the post-racial aspect, the happy couple’s rehearsal dinner consists of their friends and family standing on a stage and making speeches, singing songs, playing various musical instruments, and reading poetry.  Perhaps what bothered me the most was that there was no character willing to stand up and shout “we can’t just take the aspects that we like from every group of people on Earth and appropriate them for this wedding without giving something back!”

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