“The lynching of my son has shown me that what happens to any of us
anywhere in the world had better be the business of us all.”
Mamie Till-Bradley in Till
The name Till is one that most Americans and many people around the world will recognize from their civil rights history lessons. In 1955, while visiting family, Emmett Till, a 14-year-old boy from Chicago, was brutally beaten and murdered for allegedly flirting with and whistling at a married white woman near Money, Mississippi. His bloated body was later found in the Tallahatchie River.
I must admit that when I first heard about the film Till, it immediately sparked my curiosity. Yes, I thought. The heinous crime that caused a media frenzy and galvanized the civil rights movement needs to be brought to new generations. But wait. We live in an age of trigger warnings (statements that alert readers or viewers to potentially disturbing content) and audiences with a heightened sensitivity to violence. So how can film director Chinonye Chukwu draw viewers to movie theaters and simultaneously do justice to the brutality of that crime?
It also intrigued me that Chukwu placed Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Bradley, in the film’s center. If she’s mentioned at all in American history textbooks, it’s mainly to recognize the role she played in the decision to show the world what Southern hatred looked like. She was the driving force to ensure an open casket at Emmett Till’s funeral. So what does the film reveal that most history books do not?
The reader and the writer. Two sides of the same coin. Pardon, the same page. Relationship status: It’s complicated since only one gets to state what’s on their mind. Thus, it’s only fair to talk back via text. Flannery O’Connor (1925–1964) may be long gone from this world, but her literature endures as an eternal message. And so does the question how an atheist-by-conviction connects to Catholic O’Connor’s Southern Gothic religious themes.
FX’s Mayans M.C. is a drama series showcasing a world of guns and drugs around a biker gang in SoCal, right at the US-Mexican border. Can a setting riddled with stereotypes present a backdrop for desirable representation with its principally Mexican American (Chicano) characters? Let’s look beyond the basic premise and find out how Mayans M.C., for all its machismo, tells tales full of life seldom featured, off- as well as on-screen.
The Big Bang Theory is pure poison in a society that just got a wake-up call.
Just yesterday, I saw another post revealing its problematic themes. What truly shocked me were the comments – most of them in defence of their beloved series. “Don’t get your feelings hurt. It’s just a funny show!” they claim. But it’s not.
Like many others, I also enjoyed watching The Big Bang Theory in my teenage years. I was happy that there was a show that portrayed nerd culture and referenced it. I didn’t question the harmful themes the show relies on. To be honest, I didn’t even see them. Now that my eyes are opened, I can’t unsee them. I can barely stand to watch an entire episode. The characters’ behavior around women and each other is just too painful.
I can’t wrap my head around why this show ran for so many seasons and wasn’t cancelled earlier. Sheldon’s quirkiness is so funny after all, isn’t it? Read more »
LGBTQ+ Pride is usually a cause for celebration. It is meant to express the joy of being alive and being seen in a society where an identity that diverges from the norm easily leads to exclusion, isolation, and fear. Somehow, it makes sense, then, that the idea of Pride is born from suffering, tragedy, and anger, too. The 2017 Netflix documentary The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson presents a stirring testament to a life and death that are universally meaningful in the struggle for LGBTQ+ existence, then and now.
Everybody hates Cars 2 – and I just don’t understand why. First of all, let me make a confession: I’m 25 years old and a Disney nerd. I love watching animated movies – as long as they’re well made. And Cars 2, even after more than ten years, is still my all-time feel-good movie.
It has everything you could wish for: Uplifting words, funny jokes, and a world you can lose yourself in. There’s barely anything that’s hateful or triggering, and I love joining the characters on their journey. Yet, most critics have characterized Cars 2 as violent and illogical, calling it the worst Pixar movie ever – and I just can’t wrap my head around it. How could I feel so differently from everyone else?