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Where are black soldiers in Eastwood films?

 
 
Zippo
 
Reply Wed 21 May, 2008 01:30 pm
From The Times
May 21, 2008

Spike Lee accuses Clint Eastwood of erasing black GIs from history
Leading African-American director condemns fellow film-maker's failure to portray role of hundreds of black soldiers at Iwo Jima

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00341/Lee_and_Eastwood_38_341151a.jpg
Spike Lee said black soldiers were conspicuous by their absence in Clint Eastwood war films

Spike Lee launched a bitter attack on Clint Eastwood yesterday, condemning his failure to include a single African-American soldier in his films about the Battle of Iwo Jima.

The Oscar-nominated African-American director, one of the most influential figures in contemporary cinema, said that black soldiers were conspicuous by their absence from Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. Hundreds took part in the battle for the Japanese island in 1945.

timesonline
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 4,599 • Replies: 42
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H2O MAN
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2008 01:49 pm
Who really cares what Spike has to say? What a pussy!
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Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2008 01:55 pm
Oh jesus....here we go....
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real life
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2008 03:41 pm
Why doesn't Spike make his own film if he doesn't like Eastwood's?

Spike is Eastwood's competitor. Keep that in mind.

It's like Pepsi saying Coke doesn't make very good soft drinks. It's predictable that competitors will bash one another.

Who cares what Spike has to say?
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  2  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2008 03:54 pm
why aren't there white people on Good Times? Or Sanford and son except for the cop that's presented as an idiot?
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2008 06:19 pm
Eastwood can make any kind of picture he wants, anyway he wants. Such is the privilege of those involved in creative pursuits like filmmaking.
However, two itty-bitty points...
1) American mainstream media has had a history of leaving out the presence and contributions of people of color, and that omission has had an effect on the way that all of us think of our contry and ourselves. Hell I still remember about shitting a brick the first time I saw a black man depicted in a drama on a TV series in a positive light - it was a paradigm-changing shock. I have had so many heated discussions in history classes about the omission of black and Latino cowboys and soldiers .

2) The Eastwood films about WWII were presented as fiction based on historical fact. If blacks were conspicuously part of the history depicted, and if they were conspicuously absent from the pictures, I'd say Lee's calling attention to that is not unreasonable.
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mysteryman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2008 06:29 pm
snood wrote:
Eastwood can make any kind of picture he wants, anyway he wants. Such is the privilege of those involved in creative pursuits like filmmaking.
However, two itty-bitty points...
1) American mainstream media has had a history of leaving out the presence and contributions of people of color, and that omission has had an effect on the way that all of us think of our contry and ourselves. Hell I still remember about shitting a brick the first time I saw a black man depicted in a drama on a TV series in a positive light - it was a paradigm-changing shock. I have had so many heated discussions in history classes about the omission of black and Latino cowboys and soldiers .

2) The Eastwood films about WWII were presented as fiction based on historical fact. If blacks were conspicuously part of the history depicted, and if they were conspicuously absent from the pictures, I'd say Lee's calling attention to that is not unreasonable.


Then lets set the record straight.
The men that raised the flag on Mt. Suribachi were white, except for one.
He was an American Indian.
Since there were no black men involved in the actual flag raising, and since the movie "Flags of our Fathers" was about the men that actually raised the flag, why should Eastwood add a man to the event just for PC purposes?

The movie "Letters from Iwo Jima" was entirely the Japanese perspective of the same battle.
It told the story from the Japanese POV.
Please tell us all Snood, how many Japanese are there that are Black?
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2008 06:45 pm
Ohmygodohmygodohmygod.

I think my brain just imploded.

Quote:

Spike Lee accuses Clint Eastwood of erasing black GIs from history


It's a movie. Not history. Not a history book. Not a documentary.

I like Spike Lee as much as I like Clint Eastwood but that comment makes my head hurt.

But I do agree with Snood about how anyone other than white people seem to be absent from American history books. There has been a huge stink here in Oregon because the new text chosen for Oregon History classes has a chapter on the confinement of Japanese American's during WW2. A lot of people are seriously pissed.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2008 06:51 pm
Outside of a very few combat units and plane squadrons, black soldiers were relegated pretty much to support and infrastructure.

The RAMGAR supply of the 2nd quartermaster was the mostly black supply for Burma. These guys took as many casualties as the infantry. Just like the REDBALL, ramgar will have a movie made one day, maybe.
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McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2008 07:09 pm
I don't recalll seeing many blacks in Saving Private Ryan. I wonder where they were in that movie? Maybe Spike will take up that cause next.
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 May, 2008 09:03 pm
Why pick on these two films. Clint Eastwood is really known for his western movies and Dirty Harry movies?

Actually, if one wants to have these two movies be historically correct for the way America was in the 1940's, then Clint Eastwood depicted African-Americans correctly as being perceived as invisible. In fact there's a book by that name, Invisible Man - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Ellison .

The history lesson for all is then very correct. So, I wonder why it is necessary to give the movie a false perception that in the 1940's African-Americans were very much part of a fairly bigoted country's psyche? Why sugar coat history?
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snood
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2008 05:43 am
Here's the thing - history is history. What happened, happened. If, for example, in 1940's Queens, New York, you would probably see a few blacks when you walked through certain areas, then I think anyone attempting to depict the era accurately would show a couple of blacks.

(by the way Mysteriousman, I in no way suggested that the actual raising of the Flag at Iwo Jima should show some blacks doing it, or anything of the sort)

Now, if they have no interest in showing things as they truly were, that's one thing...
but if in all liklihood the blacks who served during WWII (my daddy was one of 'em) would have been seen here and there in various supportive roles, then why exclude them?
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McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2008 06:56 am
It's obvious of course. Eastwood is a racist who wouldn't allow blacks to appear in his films.

I mean that what you and Spike are alluding to, right?
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2008 09:10 am
snood wrote:
Here's the thing - history is history. What happened, happened. If, for example, in 1940's Queens, New York, you would probably see a few blacks when you walked through certain areas, then I think anyone attempting to depict the era accurately would show a couple of blacks.

(by the way Mysteriousman, I in no way suggested that the actual raising of the Flag at Iwo Jima should show some blacks doing it, or anything of the sort)

Now, if they have no interest in showing things as they truly were, that's one thing...
but if in all liklihood the blacks who served during WWII (my daddy was one of 'em) would have been seen here and there in various supportive roles, then why exclude them?


You are aware that a negative "spin" need not be put on the absence of Blacks in this movie. A "positive" spin would be to possibly ameliorate the fact that the usual function of Blacks were in support roles during a segregated era of the military. Unless one can read the mind of whoever wrote the script, one might also conclude that the absence of Blacks was to lessen the image that Blacks were usually only used as laborers, truck drivers, cooks, etc. Sort of like not showing the caricatures of Jews on Nazi WWII posters in the holocaust documentaries. Actually, the caricatures are shown, so perhaps someone is more concerned in not offending Blacks than offending Jews?

And, if Blacks were depicted in the movie, those actors would likely get paid as much as any white actors. Naturally, we want as many Black actors being hired as possible.

I think it abhorrent that any U.S. historical movie may not use Black actors as part of the background milieu. There might just be a need to have some Hollywood committee for truth in scene settings. Any 1920 gangster movie would then have a Black shoeshine boy, a Jewish pushcart peddler, an Italian street opera singer, an Irish cop, A WASP walking by quickly with the Wall Street Journal (perhaps) tucked under an arm; have I left out any ethnicities from a 1920's urban scene? Oooh, I forgot Poles, Scandanavians, and Germans. Hey, the scene wasn't supposed to be so crowded, but we can't omit any ethnic group, can we?

Yes, "history is history." And, with time many wax nostalgic about it rather than raising one's blood pressure. I don't know any Jews that are mad at the Egyptian Pharohs.
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2008 09:13 am
nice try foofie but it is obvious that you are a racist apologist.... shame on you...
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2008 09:18 am
How many black people were in the old Andy Griffith show?

I believe we discussed this once already.
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Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2008 09:20 am
Bi-Polar Bear wrote:
nice try foofie but it is obvious that you are a racist apologist.... shame on you...


No. Nothing is obvious. You are reading in to what I posted, and made some quantum leap to your conclusion, I believe. I am just not alienated from the good people that gave me the greatest country to live in. I'm just not an ingrate.

I forgot to include the ubiquitous newspaper boy hawking newspapers. "Papers, papers." What ethnicity could he be?
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gustavratzenhofer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2008 09:22 am
Foofie, are you from around here?
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2008 09:23 am
I think foofie is from a place that doesn't have sarcasm....
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Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 May, 2008 09:24 am
gustavratzenhofer wrote:
How many black people were in the old Andy Griffith show?

I believe we discussed this once already.


little known is that juanita at the diner was black.... Barney had to keep it on the down low...that's why you never saw her....
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