Dale Pollock

Faith & Justice February Program

The Faith & Justice Committee’s 2018-19 Lunch and Speaker Series will continue on Tuesday,* February 26, at 12:00 noon in Colhoun A. The program, “Race in Film,” will be presented by Dale M. Pollock, Distinguished Scholar of Cinema Studies, School of Filmmaking, UNCSA.

*Please note this program is being presented on a Tuesday rather than the customary Thursday scheduling.

Pollock will look back in film history to examine the deep roots of Hollywood racism. Only by understanding the power of the images created in films such “The Birth of a Nation” and “King Kong” can we comprehend the depth and breadth of racism in the movies.

We will see how two kinds of filmmaking emerged—one for white audiences in which black Americans were solely house servants, porters and bathroom attendants, and a more vibrant but limited number of African-American-made films by a paucity of black directors.

Things began to change when black actor Sidney Poitier became a genuine movie star in the 1950s and 60s with films such as “The Defiant Ones,” although co-star Tony Curtis always got top billing. Not until Spike Lee made “Do the Right Thing” 1989 did a genuine black directorial voice emerge, enabling filmmakers such as Jordan Peele to make a crossover hit in “Get Out” that appealed to both black and white audiences while making several pertinent points about contemporary racism by using an outrageous story premise.

Hollywood continues to grapple with the politics of making films for and about people of color, although great strides have been made in recent years.

Bring your own lunch. Beverages will be provided. All are welcome.

Though it is not required in order to appreciate the February 26 presentation, you may wish to view three films recommended by Dr. Pollock. They are listed in the order of viewing he finds most helpful:

  • “Get Out” directed by Jordan Peele (2017)
  • “The Defiant Ones” directed by Stanley Kramer (1958)
  • “King Kong” directed by Merian C. Cooper (1933)

“Get Out” is available on Prime Video and through the Forsyth Public Library. “The Defiant Ones” can be seen on HBO. The original black and white version of “King Kong” is shown on Prime Video and is available from the Forsyth Public Library.