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the one where we all discuss ‘get out’

Georgina

No, no, no… I think you’ll really like this blog.

I didn’t find Get Out to be funny. Nor did I find it scary. I’m not courageous – horror movies don’t deal with the things that truly scare me. But I did find Get Out to be engaging. I want to articulate a thought I’ve been having since I saw the movie. The movie deals with white racism, but I think there’s something bigger going on. It’s about American culture’s desire to live vicariously through it’s high achieving Black citizens.

A lot has been made about the film’s depiction of White liberal culture. But I think any reading of the movie that focuses only on White liberalism is incomplete. Why? White liberalism isn’t what causes the Armitage family to kidnap people. It’s a trick they use when they kidnap people. It’s a superficial aspect of the whole story. This leads to an interesting question: if white liberalism isn’t the main theme of the movie, then what is the main theme? I’d argue that the main theme is living (literally) through the talent and achievement of Black Americans.

Here’s the main evidence: the bad guys do not kidnap random Black residents, they only kidnap the exceptionally talented. Chris – the main character – is an accomplished photographer. Walter is a great athlete. Rose targets an NCAA recruit. The man kidnapped early on is a jazz musician. I don’t remember if the dialogue reveals Georgina’s story, but in her photo with Rose she is depicted as a young and vibrant person.

This suggests that the film goes beyond a critique of White liberalism. Rather, it is about how Whites view the talented tenth. In the world of the movie, the talented tenth is there to be farmed for spare parts, literally. Metaphorically, it’s about co-opting Black achievement into the mainstream culture, even if it ends up robbing it of its true soul and spirit.

Please use the comments for your Get Out interpretations!

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Written by fabiorojas

March 28, 2017 at 12:01 am

2 Responses

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  1. I fully agree that white liberalism is not what this movie is “taking on”, although it does provide a clever treatment of its dark side. In full disclosure, I am far from a race scholar. But I saw this more as a movie about racial essentialism. The fact that the bad guys view their black victims as superior in some way suggests they buy into the narrative about race as a biological, rather than social, construct.

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    Megan M. Reynolds

    March 29, 2017 at 12:23 am

  2. I think you are onto something. There is a definite fetishizing of Blackness in this film. More commentary needs to dig into it.

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    fabiorojas

    March 29, 2017 at 12:51 am


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