Our White Saviors
Dances with Wolves: John Dunbar
Avatar – Jake Sully
Matthew Hughey: White Savior Film
The following constitutes the various aspects of a “White Savior Film” according to Matthew Hughey.
- Crossing the Color and Culture Line
- His Saving Grace
- White Suffering
- The Savior, the Bad White, and the Natives
- The Color of Meritocracy
- White Civility, Black Savagery
- “Based on a True Story”: Racialized Historiography
White Saviors On Trial
Case Studies: We will analyze our core films and The Help to determine if they are guilty of being a white savior film according to Hughey.
Dances with Wolves
Hughey: “The content of these films demonstrates a twofold dynamic: they collectively reflect the dominant ideological currents and unsettles racial times of each decade, and the demostract their creators’ attempts to design products that will resonate with audiences’ differing tastes and understandings of race relations”
Hughey: These films reinforce stereotypes of indigenous people and minorities and take away from the real issue the film is about
Martinez: As read in an article in the first week of class, directors will make stories that they know. These films aren’t about a white savior, these films are about a white protagonist recognizing their privilege.
Martinez: A white savior film really disregards the ability of the minority groups to solving their own problems i.e. The Blind Side & Freedom Writers