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Here's Looking at You

Hollywood, Film and Politics, Fourth Edition

Ernest Giglio

Now in its updated and expanded fourth edition, Here’s Looking at You: Hollywood, Film & Politics examines how the tangled relationship between Hollywood’s global film industry and the politics of federal and state governments manifests itself in the real world of political campaigns and in the fictional world of Hollywood films.

The book contradicts the film industry’s assertion that it produces nothing but entertainment. While it is true that the vast majority of Hollywood films are strictly commercial ventures, hundreds of movies—from Birth of a Nation to The Help, recreated stories like Argo and Zero Dark Thirty and historical pieces such as Lincoln and The Conspirator—contain political messages, both overt and covert.

This new edition begins with President Obama’s re-election and includes new photos and statistical data, three new chapters and eight case studies that provide in-depth analysis of special films that are certain to challenge existing views and stimulate classroom discussion. Here’s Looking at You serves as a basic text for courses in film and politics and as a supplement in American government and film studies courses. Film buffs and general readers will also find it of interest.

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Chapter 12. Hollywood, Race and Obama: Feel-Good Racism

Extract

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Chapter 12

Hollywood, Race and Obama

Feel-Good Racism

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

—Martin Luther King Jr.

“The emotions between the races could never be pure; even love was tarnished by the desire to find in the other some element that was missing in ourselves. Whether we sought out our demons or salvation, the other race would always remain just that: menacing, alien, and apart.”

—Barack Obama, Dreams from My Father

“Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men’s skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.”

—Lyndon Baines Johnson

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