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Movie report - Malcolm X - Essay Example

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Movie Report: Malcolm X. From the very beginning the film, Malcolm X, ties the two themes of religion and America together. It starts with the credits and the voice of a Muslim preacher, which sounds very like any Christian preacher, except that the reference to Allah makes it clear that the context is Islam and not Christianity…
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Movie report - Malcolm X

Download file to see previous pages... It seems that the relationship between Islamic religion and America is caught up with violence, and in fact as the camera cuts back and forth between the flag, the Islamic preacher, and the video of the attack, flames start to consume the edges of the flag until finally all that remains is a burning “X” with the last traces of stars and stripes. The abiding memory of this film will be the clash between Islamic black people and the dominant white American values which do not give a fair and proper place to African American citizens The characters in the film are introduced in a segregated way, just as the society of the time was strictly divided into black and white domains. The African Americans are shown enjoying life in the streets and in the barber shop, where men try to straighten their hair to appear more like white men. Their scenes are set to lively jazz music, and the colors used in the black family scenes in the film are rich browns and creams. In contrast, the first sight of white Americans is a group of Ku Klux Klan members arriving on horseback in the dark of night, clad in their white robes, to terrify the mother of the unborn Malcolm X. The narrative voice explains the complex hatred of white people that he has grown up with, due to the experiences of his parents, both of whom had suffered violence at the hands of white people. The main character, Malcolm Little, starts out as a slightly ridiculous person, dressing up in fancy suits, experimenting with drugs, and trying to make money through robbing people. He becomes much more serious, however, when he is caught by the police and sent to prison. He was already well informed about religion and politics due to his father’s profession as a pastor, although he clearly does not agree with his father’s view that black people should leave America and go back to Africa where they originally came from, and start up a new nation there, without all the prejudice and oppression that is found in America. It seems that the time that Malcolm spent in prison was the beginning of his re-education into the real history of black oppression in America. He learns to interpret everything around him differently, and follows the teachings brought to him by prisoner Baines, and other famous Muslim leaders, learning in the end to bend his knee to Allah, even though this was very hard for him. The film shows through the life of Malcolm X, that radical Islam can be a way to fight back against the four hundred years of oppression. He has a vision in his prison cell that changes him for ever. He makes a comparison with the experience of Paul on the road to Damascus. His old friend Shorty, who was imprisoned with him, thinks he has gone mad, and the way that Malcolm has chosen is shown to be a difficult one, that means he has to give up so many aspects of his previous life. The film shows how Malcolm evolves from a criminal to a moral human being, and when he starts to wear his heavy glasses, he appears also to be like an intellectual. His marriage is shown as something genuine and positive, but his relationship with the brothers in the “Nation of Islam” becomes difficult because he has higher moral standards than even the man in his vision, Elijah Mohamed. This is an interesting dimension of the film, because it shows ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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