Film - American Ethnic Cult
People have always had prejudices about certain individuals. We can find the examples of this in any historical period from the ancient times until today. For example, in the ancient times, the slaves were referred to as non-human beings; literally, two centuries ago, African-American people were considered to be useful only for hard physical labor. Nearly one hundred years ago, women were inferior to men in many spheres. Moreover, even in the present days, individuals from the upper class consider those from the lower one to be dangerous. Due to such spread of the theme of prejudices in the real life, it is often displayed in movies as well. For example, The Blind Side movie tells about the life of Michael Oher, an African-American young man, who had a tough life due to his mother’s drug addiction and the absence of a home and a family. Since he was black, big, and poor, no one wanted to take care of him. On the other side, one of the several parts of the movie Cloud Atlas depicts the story of a black slave and a white lawyer. The first one takes place in the present days, while the second one takes us back to the 18th century. However, the theme of prejudice, its consequences, and overcoming can be seen in both stories, which will be discussed further.
The Cloud Atlas movie describes several different stories, which occur in different time periods, and connects them to each other. One of these parts takes the viewer to the 19th century and shows a relationship between an American lawyer, Adam Ewing, and a Moriori slave, Autua. Getting to the ship going to the United States, Autua knows that if someone finds him, he will be killed due to his race and origin. However, he finds a friend in Mr. Ewing, who protects him from the seamen, and Autua, in his turn, saves Adam’s life later. There is a similar theme in The Blind Side movie, because its character, Michael, is also thought to be dangerous to many people, who are trying to dissuade Leigh Anne from adopting the boy and letting him live side by side with her teenage daughter. Since both characters, Autua and Michael, are actually kind and smart, it is certain that they are being prejudiced by others due to their race and origin. Autua is a slave, so he is not allowed to be on one ship with the white people; even though, he is able to help them there. In the meantime, Michael is an African-American poor guy from a bad family, who has an intimidating look, so it is considered to be unsafe to have him live at a decent family, even though he is a nice and humble young man. Autua’s example is a more serious one due to the danger he gets in, but it is still similar to Michael’s.
Consequently, prejudices are still present in the today’s society. Moreover, the raise of prejudiced opinions towards African-American people has been registered, when President Obama was elected. Thus, several years before the election, about 48 percent of Americans expressed anti-black attitudes, while now the number rose to 51 percent (Harris). As physiological studies show, everyone has prejudices, because people tend to prefer individuals, who look like them (Care2). Therefore, stereotypes are being formed in every person, while people around, such as parents, teachers, and friends, contribute to that. Stereotypes cover many spheres, such as race, class, sex, and age, and are applied to everyone who fits them; even though, some people can be very different from others.
Even though prejudices still take a part in our lives, they can be overcome. Examples from The Blind Side and Cloud Atlas movies prove this fact. Due to Autua’s help, Mr. Ewing joins a Slavery Abolishment Movement, while Leigh Anne’s family proves that Michael is a good and talented young man. What we think about other people due to their appearance or origin is not always true. The urge towards the reduction of prejudices needs to become a common goal, so we could build a healthy and equal society.