Black and White in the Cinema.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We live in a world in which negative racial stereotypes abound, and the cinema has played a large part in creating, and perpetuating, such ideas, many of which have become internalised by the public. My presentation will focus on how race is depicted within the cinema, both at the macro and micro-level. The former refers to the narrative of the film itself, involving the race assigned to certain characters within, while the latter refers to individual directorial style, in which even a camera angle can serve to reinforce negative stereotypes. By analysing film clips, both past and present, the role that race plays within the cinema to foster racial stereotypes will be clearly illustrated. The theoretical background on which the presentation is based is that of eurocentrism, in which European, any by extension white culture, has been held up as the paragon of civilisation. In addition, based on the hegemonic structure as described in the theories of Gramsci, those with 'cinematic power' have (and still do) reserved certain roles for specific races. However, the cinematic climate is changing, as more and more minorities claim power for themselves both behind, and in front of, the camera. Film clips selected for discussion include Taxi Driver, Pay It Forward, Do the Right Thing and The Phantom Menace.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication(Mis)Representation in Media
Place of PublicationThe University of Manchester
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Event(Mis)Representation in Media - The University of Manchester
Event duration: 1 Jan 1824 → …


Conference(Mis)Representation in Media
CityThe University of Manchester
Period1/01/24 → …