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I am copying here something that came in through email today.

MBM



Dear Friends:

My name is Erik Todd Dellums. I am a Black man, a professional actor
and a semiotician and film lover. I am therefore underemployed,
under-appreciated and an afterthought in Hollywood. I am also a man who
rarely sees an accurate depiction of Black people and American History
in film and on television. It's something I've grown used to, but now
I'M MAD AS HELL AND NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!

I am calling all people that truly care about honest representations of
American History in Hollywood to standup and boycott the heavily
promoted film, "Cold Mountain." At a cost of $80+ million dollars and
sporting a stellar cast and crew, this adaptation of Charles Fraizier's
acclaimed bestseller opens Christmas Day everywhere and is being touted
as the film to beat at the Academy Awards. It has generated glowing
reviews for Disney, Miramax and all involved. It is also a sham; a slap
in the face of African Americans everywhere, whose ancestors gave their
lives in the Civil War, fighting for true freedom (Sorry, President
Bush!) from the most heinous slavery system known to modern man: the
American Slavery System. How could a 3 hour film depict life in the
heart of Virginia and North Carolina during the Civil War use 30 seconds
of Black people picking cotton as its total reality of slavery during
this period? In an article in the Washington Post, the film makers have
said that slavery and racism were simply "too raw" an emotional issue to
present in their film. In other words, who would want to see a love
story with the beautiful Jude Law and Nicole Kidman set in the reality
of the Southern monstrosity of slavery.

The film depicts one of the more important battle decision in the Civil
War; a battle in which the Union trained Black Soldiers to tunnel under
Confederate lines; a battle in which Blacks suffered their highest rate
of casualties of any Union division in the fight! This is the great
battle that opens "Cold Mountain." You tell me if you spot ANY Black
actors in the film fighting. It plays like "Saving Private Ryan"
another film in which Black contributions to history -- namely the
Battle at Normandy -- are completely excised from a major film. Shame
on you, Hollywood. Shame on you!

The Weinstein Brothers (owners of Miramax, the distributors of "Cold
Mountain" are smart, astute business men with keen cinematic
sensibilities. They should know better. I ask, could you imagine "The
Pianist" or "Schlinder's List" ever being made with but 30 seconds of
the reality of The Holocaust? Of course not. A film with such a gross
misrepresentation would never make it past page one of a screenplay!
And in reality, isn't The Holocaust, which occured a mere two
generations or so ago, "rawer" emotionally than slavery?
Every year, the Academy Awards give a documentary about "The Holocaust"
it's award and every year Hollywood releases sumptuous, hauntingly
beautiful films about "The Holocaust." And every year I go. Why?
Because I love film. And I love the truth. But there must be some
reciprocity somewhere. I have attempted to sell stories to Hollywood --
true stories -- from our history as Black people during the years of
slavery. The response from Hollywood, "I saw something like that
already in "Roots". What an insult! Why are we as a people always an
afterthought? We must let Hollywood know that we deserve respect. How
do we? By not giving them the pleasure of our dollars. Let a boycott
of "Cold Mountain" begin our response to Hollywood: tell our stories;
tell the truth and we will come. And if Hollywood has a problem with
that, simply say, "I'm not going, because I saw a film like that
already!"

Sincerely yours,
Erik Todd Dellums


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela

© MBM

Original Post

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If this is the circumstance of this particular movie, then I am in agreement that it should be boycotted by African Americans.

I would like to take it further and say that I already do boycott any films, etc., that depict African Americans in an unwarranted negative light. I think that African Americans should also boycott any movies made with African Americans starring in them or even with bit parts or any made by African Americans as well that continue to subliminally or overtly convey a message that all of the negative stero-types are the norm for African Americans.

When ever I am watching a movie, etc., and I see that the only "prostitute" has to be a black woman, or that the "criminal" has to be a young black male, or the black person(s) has to be the drug addict or drug dealer or the rapist or the thief, then I turn it off---click! and the same goes for movies that come the theaters--I do not go to see them; I do not rent them, etc. (However, I will make exceptions for comedy because comedians and comedy stereo-types everyone and with it being comedy there is no inference that it would be taken seriously).
Also, I have not sympathy for any struggling African American actors that play these stero-types; if they stop playing them, then the industry/propaganda machine will have not choice but to stop conveying them. We do not have the luxury of people knowing us up close and personal do to this country's history of racism and segregation and ignorance, therefore, they only way people get to know us is through the media, news and the television and movie industry. Since, they usually do not know any black people in the first place, images portrayed and played out on a t.v./movie screen are their only source of reference and comparison.

Just think about it; If you were not black and you personally did not grow up with black people and did not personally know any black people very well, what would you think of African Americans/Black people when the only point of reference and comparison is what is displayed in the media, portrayed by hollywood and exhibited by characters in t.v. shows?
Point well taken everyone. This is why I surf the internet instead of watching TV. As far as I am concerned the TV is one way communication. It feeds rather than interact. I got tired of Black people being portrayed negatively back in the Dark days of 1980 till 1984. Keep in mind that Hollywood and the entertainment industry will always show thing from a Caucasian, Eurocentric point of view.

This is one of the challenges that many black film makers have to overcome. Maybe many of the younger people out there can't relate when at one point in the early 80's, when black people virtually disappeared off tv and the movie screen. I hate the fact that black people are minimized and negatively shown. It just feeds the stereotype that many of us have to overcome in the real world.

Knowledge is Power
Ignorance is Oppression
yeah...would this kat (dellums ~ any relation to the rep or actress?) be singing the praises of protest if tagged as the lead with 000,000...contract? where's denzel, oprah, will smith and the other so-called "power brokers" of hollywood?

fvck film! check out an august wilson's theatricality in a town or coming near you.


"There are two ways of exerting one's strength: one is pushing down, the other is pulling up."
~ Booker T Washington
Happy New Year all.


Some spoilers, as if yall gon see this. And, ya really don't need to. Truth.

I am to late to boycott 'Cold Mountain'. Shit. I saw it, and, I can say that there were various scenes that made me feel as if I were viewing this film in the 1940's. I mean, at some point, my experience in the theater made me feel as if I would be asked to take my ass up to the peanut gallery! wtf. Also, as I had not read up on this book, I was not sure what I was in for. When the movie started, I was initially horrified that I was gonna see a film tribute to the damn confederacy, becase 'Inman's (Law's) character was a confederate soldier. But after determining that war IS hell, he checks out and becomes a deserter. And, actually, all of the brutality came from the confederate soldiers and southern white men upon everyone else, towards the other white southerners.

And, it was'nt that great of a film. It should not beat out LOTR for best picture. The Last Samurai was better than this. However, I can say this, I appreciated the journey which Law's character made a la' 'Homer', but, I was very bored with Kidman.

So many scenes that were reminiscent of 'Gone with the Wind'. Also, Rene Zellwegger's character which is of this 'scrappy' young woman, was according to what I have read on the net, in the book, a 'bi-racial' woman, but in the film, we have Zellwegger; and, throughout the film, Zellwegger's character constantly reminds all that she is NOT a 'servent' in the 'true' sense of the word, as she hires herself out to work 'with' Kidman's character to save Tara, I mean Kidman's character's, father's farm.

Several other scenes caused me major discomfort.

There is a scene in which Jude Law's character has AWOL'd himself, and runs into a small group of 'escaped' 'slaves'; he implores them to share their food with him, but they appear much to frightened, to even converse with him, as he is a white man, and do not even speak to him. They disappear into the woods, and seconds later, we hear gunshots and screams, where apparently, confederate soldiers come across them and kill all of them. That's what they get for not sharing.
I imagine that this was in the book.

Jude Law's character happens upon a White man attempting to throw a drugged Black woman into the river, because he has had relations with her, she is pregnant and, he is a married minister. I can not quite remember, but the description that is given of her as a part of the narrative, by this jack leg white minister, in the movie, is that of being jet black, blacker than night. "As you can see, she is blacker than tar", or some such. Now, I know that this is a minute element in the film, but it totlly pissed me off. Now mind you, this is supposed to reflect the times of which it was written, but to my eyes, the actress playing this part, was a shade or two 'lighter' than Lauren Hill. When that description was given, several of the white folk in the theater snickered. wtf! Law's character takes it upon himself to avenge this young woman, and that, is the end of that. Until he happens upon this minister later in the movie.

All in all, this was not one of my bette movie going experiences. I wish i had read this post first. Shit.
I go to very few movies with some sort of historical account so don't worry I had no plans on seeing it anyways. America has trouble dealing with the truth of the past so any movies dealing with the Civil War will always be glossed over.
The last Samauri was off my list as I studied Japanese history and whites were not even welcomed to the island and in no way would a person of European descent be allowed to become a samaurai.....



Catch
quote:
Originally posted by sunnubian:
We do not have the luxury of people knowing us up close and personal do to this country's history of racism and segregation and ignorance, therefore, they only way people get to know us is through the media, news and the television and movie industry. Since, they usually do not know any black people in the first place, images portrayed and played out on a t.v./movie screen are their only source of reference and comparison.

Just think about it; If you were not black and you personally did not grow up with black people and did not personally know any black people very well, what would you think of African Americans/Black people when the only point of reference and comparison is what is displayed in the media, portrayed by hollywood and exhibited by characters in t.v. shows?



That's bs

Just because some folks didn't grow up around black people doesn't give ANYONE the right to rewrite history to one's standards, especially erasing an entire race's accomplishments from out the history books.

Those folks in Hollywood studied history in school I'm sure, particularly slavery in American history. But to omit black folks out of the Civil War because some producer didn't hang out with black people is a BS cop-out.

That's like if a director made a movie about Pearl Harbor, and doesn't cast any Japanese actors because that director didn't grow up around Japanese people.
quote:
Originally posted by Huey:
quote:
Originally posted by sunnubian:
We do not have the luxury of people knowing us up close and personal do to this country's history of racism and segregation and ignorance, therefore, they only way people get to know us is through the media, news and the television and movie industry. Since, they usually do not know any black people in the first place, images portrayed and played out on a t.v./movie screen are their only source of reference and comparison.

Just think about it; If you were not black and you personally did not grow up with black people and did not personally know any black people very well, what would you think of African Americans/Black people when the only point of reference and comparison is what is displayed in the media, portrayed by hollywood and exhibited by characters in t.v. shows?



That's bs

Just because some folks didn't grow up around black people doesn't give ANYONE the right to rewrite history to one's standards, especially erasing an entire race's accomplishments from out the history books.

Those folks in Hollywood studied history in school I'm sure, particularly slavery in American history. But to omit black folks out of the Civil War because some producer didn't hang out with black people is a BS cop-out.

That's like if a director made a movie about Pearl Harbor, and doesn't cast any Japanese actors because that director didn't grow up around Japanese people.


__________________________________________
Sorry Huey,

I guess I was still hanging onto the point I was trying to get across being our duty as African Americans to boycott such portrayals of misrepresentation of African Americans and/or African American history as the sentiments expressed; I just took it a step further in that I am saying that African American aspiring or established or otherwise actors or movies makers have that duty upon them as well, and we should boycott them or their movies for the same calousness.
MBM, Thanks for sharing this.

I saw "Cold Mountain." I was too late for the showing of "The Last Samurai." I found myself watching the movie with "two brains."

In the one mind, I watched the movie while making all the adjustments to ignore the reality of stories setting. I did all the things Hollywood taught me to do with reality.
There will be lots of oscar nominations. The judgement will be they were "acting outside themselves, and their experience."

In the other mind, my knowledge of history kept pushing me to the reality of what was going on during the time and the location. Soon I was watching the patrons watch the movie. It was strange seeing the points of sympathy, and discomfort. Many of the patrons who knew I was there referenced me frequently. I was the only African American, that I could see, in the theatre. I knew about the African Americans lost at Shiloh. I noticed the omission. I was offended.

Mr. Dellums is right.

I can't imagine the loss of life suffered by African Americans in that battle being ignored if they had been members of any other ethnic group. Sorry. Any Eurpoean ethnic group.

We have got to get over this 'QUIET SUFFERING." The comment Mr. Dellums recounted about "Hollywood's" reponse of "having seen that in 'Roots' was potent. It is to the point. "We showed it once. What do you want anyway?" When you control the game, you call the shots on what is important. Suffice is to say there is a lot "Holocaust" titles out there.

We will get our time. Continuing to work in the medium will accumulate power.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
This story was on the TIME website ... I thought it would be interesting for this thread! Smile

Into The Breach
Cold Mountain misses the real story of a big battle. A new tour fills the gap
By LAUREN SHEPHERD


The sound of exploding gunpowder no longer roars across the grassy ravine nestled in Petersburg National Battlefield Park in central Virginia. But to hear park historian Jimmy Blakenship talk about the battle that took place there 140 years ago, you have to wonder whether he can still hear the blast's echoes. "[Ulysses S.] Grant said, 'It's the saddest affair I've witnessed in this war,'" Blakenship says with a shake of his graying head.

The Civil War movie Cold Mountain, based on Charles Frazier's best-selling novel, opens with the Battle of the Crater at Petersburg in 1864, when Union forces dug a 500-ft. tunnel, packed it with 8,000 lbs. of gunpowder and blew up the Confederate line, creating a huge crater that became a deathtrap for their own troops.

The movie was actually filmed in Romania, with soldiers from the Romanian army filling in as extras. But nothing beats the real thing, and the visitor's center began offering well-attended tours of the Crater battle site the week after Christmas to coincide with the opening of the film. In the hour-long walking tour, visitors can see where the idea for the tunnel was hatched by Union soldiers as they looked across a railroad ravine at the entrenched Confederate troops. The opening to the 5 ft.-tall tunnel is still intact, and the crater is still there, although a bit smaller than it was in the 19th century.

Most important, you can hear stories of the soldiers who fought and died there, including those of the black troops, who played a major role in the fighting. "U.S. Colored Troops figured into the Crater [battle] more than you would think if you saw the movie," says John Coski, historian at Richmond's Museum of the Confederacy. One black Union regiment was trained to lead the charge in the battle after the gunpowder exploded. The soldiers were specifically told not to run into the crater that would form from the explosion; instead, they were to go around the hole. Before the battle, they sang songs celebrating their being given the chance to fight. But at the last minute, Union generals ordered the black soldiers to the rear and the white troops to lead the charge. The untrained men ran straight into the hole and became easy targets for the Confederate army. Many black soldiers got stuck behind them and were also slaughtered.

Blakenship hopes more people will come to the park "now that the world knows that Petersburg, Virginia, exists." Civil War buffs, of course, will remember the battle long after Cold Mountain has gone to DVD.

For more about the tour, visit www.nps.gov/pete/index.htm

BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
Free your mind, and the rest will follow.
Pale, skeletal "actresses" scare the "bejesus" out of me, so there will be no problem for me not seeing it. Look like "dead women" walking.

***********
Africans have made no advancement in America without shedding their blood. Yet, they are so confused that they are the first to shed blood for the system which made them shed their blood. African soldiers knew nothing of Iraq or Kuwait, nothing of Zionism. All they knew was Saddam was a monster. Nevertheless, the African in America represents the most instinctively revolutionary group in the country because of the position they are in. It is time for us to get conscious.--Kwame Ture

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