January 5, 2004

Boycott Called For 'Cold'

Cinecultist received the following e-mail forward this weekend from one of our "sources" in the "film industry" who's still sort of new to the whole electronic missives thing, and thus still thinks we'll be friends with her even if she sends us forwards. The e-mail, allegedly from Erik Todd Dellums originally (an actor who's fan site worthy apparently), requests that viewers boycott the Miramax release and Oscar-hopeful Cold Mountain because it does not contain enough depictions of blacks, despite the story being set in the South during the Civil War. We quote below some of their beef (you can read the entire e-mail posted here):

It is also a sham; a slap in the face of African Americans everywhere, whose ancestors gave their lives in the Civil War, fighting for true freedom (Sorry, President Bush!) from the most heinous slavery system known to modern man:  the American Slavery System.  How could a 3 hour film depict life in the heart of Virginia and North Carolina during the Civil War use 30 seconds of Black people picking cotton as its total reality of slavery during this period?

The thing which gets tricky towards the end of his complaint is the way he compares the proliferation of Holocaust movies to the lack of slavery movies. Hollywood would never make a Holocaust movie without the real depiction of the horrors of the Holocaust, so how can they do they do less than depict the "truth" in a movie about the Civil War, according to Dellums.

No offense intended to those fans of Dellums or his tv show Homicide, but this e-mail is obviously a hoax masked in anti-Semitism intending to draw attention to a legitimate concern like race representation but it an utterly inane way. Sure, we didn't see a whole lot of black people on screen in the course of Cold Mountain but that's because Jude Law and Nicole Kidman's heads looking longingly into the distance takes up most of that screen space. This movie, and we're guessing the book though we haven't read it, is not about race or Southern slavery even. It is about ill-fated romance and getting golden statues for its actors. It all smacks of anti-Miramax Academy Awards campaigning to Cinecultist, but we'd appreciate any e-mails from readers telling us we have this all wrong.

Posted by karen at January 5, 2004 8:14 AM