We have all known or heard about how we are influenced by the media. Images and pictures from our entertainment have reached all over the world. The response from others viewing American media is not always positive, in fact, it creates negative feelings toward some minority and ethnic groups. The result has been that many people here in the US and those living abroad believe what is shown to them about groups of people. The media, movies and other medium dictate how we see and perceive the world. I therefore contend and would ask that these outlets use their powers responsibly. As one adage says, “with great power comes great responsibility”.
With some pessimism, I report that at least 2 movies are coming out that may harm the relations between the police and certain communities. Because of the aforementioned problems of people being influenced and believing that art is an exact replication of life, I believe more harm may be done to the already tense relations between police and the public.
Black and Blue, set to be released Oct 25th, is an action thriller movie set in Chicago. The premise of the movie is an officer who witnesses her police partner and a few other officers murder, someone. Instead of going through the proper channels of bringing him to the police station for processing, they kill him in cold blood. The murder by the officers is caught on the hero’s (heroine’s?) body-worn camera. She must now fight her way away from the bad good guys (police) and back to the police station where she must download the video for all the world to see. On her way back to that precinct she is constantly assaulted by her fellow officers who are trying desperately to kill her before she can release the gory details of their nefarious actions. On her trek back to safety her only allies are those who actually hate the police and have been the victims of their past oversteps. Looks and sounds good right?
In all honesty, I am looking forward to this action thriller. However, I am worried about the consequences and any backlash concerning this film I’m hoping those moviegoers will keep in mind that this is fiction and not fact. Many departments are working hard to remove the stain of their pasts and forge new and lasting relationships with their community. I fear many people will see the movie and become hardened in their resolve that the police are inherently and eternally corrupt in their dealings. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The next film is slated to be released Nov 27th and it’s called Queen and Slim. This movie will take a look at an African American couple who are on a date. While trying to get to know one another better they are pulled over by the police. Of course, for some reason, the police officer acts corruptly and the male protagonist kills the officer in self-defense. The couple is forced to go on the run from the law, seeking assistance and changing their identity on the way. It’s a modern-day type of Bonnie and Clyde with the African American twist coupled with the duo’s innocence and self-preservation as a defense. Will this romantic thriller evoke more emotions concerning police corruption? Will it remind people of the unequal motor vehicle stops and of the deadly encounters which they can sometimes have?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely looking forward to both of these movies, however, I can’t help but think of the lasting repercussions these films may have. We get it, Hollywood is in the business of making that all mighty dollar. Asking them to stop making money is like asking a fish to stop swimming. The execs know what and how to pull on the heart strings and what images audiences want to see. Upon the release of these films I most likely will do a review as I did for the Joker Movie. I just hope that audiences understand that these are just movies, made for entertainment and if they take anything away from them, it’s to actually do something positive and become a part of the solution and rather than a part of the problem.
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